SalfordMartin Rickett/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Great news for those looking for a slice of city life on a budget: property prices in UK cities are at their most affordable to an astonishing nine years. The Lloyds TSB Affordable Cities Review found that the average city home costs £173,202 - or 5.5 times gross annual average earnings. It's the lowest ratio since 2003.

So where are the most and least affordable cities in the UK?

The affordability of a city pad hit a low in 2008, when it was 7.2 times average earnings. Your view on whether the change is a positive move will probably be dictated by whether you're looking to buy or sell (or when you bought) because it is largely driven by the fact that house prices have dropped 18% in that time.

Most affordable

If you're looking for your crash pad in the North West then you're in luck, because Salford is apparently the most affordable UK city with an average property price of just 3.81 gross average annual earnings. This partly reflects a 32% fall in house prices in this part of Greater Manchester since 2008.


The next most affordable cities are Londonderry (3.87) and Bradford (3.98). In fact, seven out of the eight most affordable cities are in Northern Ireland and the north of England. In the south the picture is far less rosy for buyers.



Least affordable

The least affordable city in the UK is Truro in the South West, where the average property price is nearly ten times (9.71) gross average earnings in the area. Oxford (8.80) is the second least affordable city, followed by Winchester (8.76). Inverness (5.97) and York (5.95) are the least affordable cities outside southern England.

So assuming you're after city life in the North, you can take your pick... in theory. The trouble is, as Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, says : "Much of this benefit may be offset by the continuing difficulties many households face in raising a deposit and uncertainty over the outlook for the UK economy."

So what do you think? Are you inspired to buy in the city, or is this too high a price to pay? Let us know in the comments

10 most affordable UK cities

UK cities

Region

Price to Earnings ratio

Salford

North West

3.81

Londonderry

Northern Ireland

3.87

Bradford

Yorkshire and the Humber

3.98

Lancaster

North West

4.00

Stirling

Scotland

4.04

Belfast

Northern Ireland

4.08

Durham

North

4.08

Lisburn

Northern Ireland

4.09

Hereford

West Midlands

4.26

Birmingham

West Midlands

4.43

UK cities average

5.51

Sources: Lloyds Banking Group, ONS

10 least affordable UK cities

UK cities

Region

Price to Earnings ratio

Truro

South West

9.71

Oxford

South East

8.80

Winchester

South East

8.76

Bath

South West

8.14

Salisbury

South West

7.51

Brighton & Hove

South East

7.31

Exeter

South West

7.26

Cambridge

East Anglia

7.01

Southampton

South East

6.84

Chichester

South East

6.83

UK cities average

5.51

Sources: Lloyds Banking Group, ONS

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