The most affordable British towns to buy a home REVEALED: Does yours make the list?

  • Cumnock in Scotland is the most affordable town to buy in Britain
  • Typical buyers pay just over 1 times their annual salary for a home 
  • We look at the other locations that made the list of cheapest places to buy

Cumnock in Scotland is officially the most affordable town in Britain to buy a house, according to Zoopla.

The typical home in the East Ayrshire town costs £79,030, according to the property website, almost £200,000 less than the average UK home.

Zoopla says the average two-earner household has to pay four times their combined annual income to purchase the typical UK home, worth £276,000.

But in Cumnock, the amount required to buy the average home falls to just 1.04 times the combined local salary. 

Value: Cumnock in Scotland is officially the most affordable town in Britain to purchase a house, according to Zoopla

Marion Wyllie, an estate agent for D.W. Shaw in Cumnock, says that the town has much to offer.

‘Cumnock is located within the heart of rural Ayrshire and offers a range of amenities,’ says Wyllie. ‘This includes independent family-run shops, a leisure centre with swimming pool, supermarkets and a modern community hospital. 

‘There is a nearby railway station at Auchinleck, while the market town of Ayr lies approximately 16 miles away and offers a wider range of amenities including excellent shopping, transport, and recreational facilities.’

Zoopla looked at the most common property type in every UK town and then compared the typical property value with the average salary for each local area to establish a house price to earnings ratio.

It found that eight of the 10 most affordable towns in Britain were situated in Scotland, with house price to earnings ratios ranging between 1.04 and 1.31 times the annual income of two earners.

Shildon and Peterlee in the North East of England were the only towns in the top 10 located outside of Scotland.

A view of Cumnock town from the countryside: The town is located within the heart of rural Ayrshire

A view of Cumnock town from the countryside: The town is located within the heart of rural Ayrshire

In cash terms, Shildon in County Durham has the cheapest house prices of anywhere in Britain at just under £70,000.

The most common property type in Shildon is a two-bedroom terraced house. To purchase a typical property in this area would cost two local buyers 1.06 times their annual gross income.

Peterlee, also in County Durham, takes the second spot in England with homes typically costing two local buyers 1.3 times their gross annual income to buy.

For those keen to live somewhere other than the North of England and Scotland, it’s not all bad news either. 

Thanks to falling house prices in many areas, there are now areas of ‘improved’ affordability across the entire country, according to Zoopla.

It says 80 per cent of local markets are experiencing falling house prices, combined with increasing pay among the local population.

Teignmouth and Newton Abbot, both in South East Devon, take the first and second spots as the towns with the biggest improvement in affordability, according to Zoopla.

This area of Devon enjoyed stronger earnings growth, while house values fell by £19,000 on average.

Surprisingly, pretty commuter towns such as historic Rochester and Gravesend in Kent, and Hockley in Essex, also made the list thanks to average house prices falling by 2.7 per cent in those areas.

On the other end of the scale, buyers in Radlett, Essex can expect to pay 11.36 times their gross annual salary – 11 times that of Cumnock and the highest on this list.

The towns with the biggest improvementsin affordability
Town Region Median value of home Annual income 2 x earners Price to earnings ratio 2 x earners
Teignmouth South West £335,080 £63,783 5.25
Newton Abbot South West £318,200 £63,783 4.99
Fleetwood North West £123,230 £67,829 1.82
Radlett East of England £885,180 £77,928 11.36
Hockley East of England £444,980 £88,347 5.04
Gravesend South East £352,410 £80,639 4.37
Rochester South East £326,505 £72,953 4.48
Gillingham South East £303,130 £72,953 4.16
Brentwood East of England £507,680 £100,495 5.05
Cranbrook South East £502,100 £81,803 6.14
Credit: Zoopla       

Izabella Lubowiecka, senior property researcher at Zoopla, said: ‘High mortgage rates have meant it’s been a difficult year for would-be buyers, so affordability has remained a hot topic.

‘However, thanks to rising wages and falling house prices in four out of five markets, we’ve seen movement on the list of most affordable towns for the first time in many years especially in London and commuter areas.

‘Our data can help buyers to make informed decisions about where their money will go further across Britain.’

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