St Albans makes UK’s ‘least affordable cities’ list

St Albans has a house price to average earnings ratio of 7.8. Picture: DANNY LOO

St Albans has a house price to average earnings ratio of 7.8. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

St Albans has been named as one of the least affordable cities in the UK.

According to new research from Lloyds Bank, St Albans is 19th on the list of the 20 least affordable UK cities 2018, with a house price to average earnings ratio of 7.8.

Oxford topped the list with 12.6, while Greater London was in fifth place with 10.3.

Londonderry in Northern Ireland was the most affordable city with a ratio of 4.4, some way below the UK-wide average of 7.2 - an increase on 2013’s figure of 5.8.

The Lloyds Bank Affordable Cities Review tracks housing affordability in 62 UK cities using data from the group’s own housing statistics database and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

St Albans also came fifth in the countdown of the 10 UK cities with the highest house price growth between 2008-2018.

The city’s average house price rose from £317,825 in 2008 to £521,116 last year, an increase of 64 per cent over the decade.

Winchester had the highest growth at 93 per cent, followed by Chichester (76 per cent) and Greater London (69 per cent). The average among UK cities was 35 per cent, while across all areas of the UK it was 39 per cent.

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For the five years from 2013-2018 St Albans no longer made the cut, however, and the list in general was no longer as southern-centric.

Andrew Mason, mortgage products director, Lloyds Bank, said: “Buying a home in UK cities remains challenging, as average house prices are outpacing wage growth.

“However the market has seen the number of first-time buyers at a high, and home owners are still attracted to cities across the UK, in spite of rising costs.”

He added: “Over the past five years, more than half of northern cities have made the UK top 10 in house price growth, whereas over a longer period, southern cities dominate.”