UK house prices:The 16 most affordable areas for single buyers to get on the property ladder

There are just 16 districts in England and Wales where single homebuyers on an average wage can get on to the property ladder...

As those looking to get on the property ladder are painfully aware, the main barrier to home ownership is saving for the deposit while house prices continue to rise.

This significant hurdle makes it increasingly difficult for couples to buy their first joint home together, let alone those on a single salary looking to buy a property on their own. 

New research by estate agents Savills reveals there are now only 16 council districts across England and Wales, out of a total of 348, where a single buyer earning what is considered as an average salary is able to buy a moderately-priced property in their area.


Unsurprisingly, the report finds that single buyers are priced out of Greater London, the East and the South East, where property prices are continuing to spiral. The 16 most affordable regions are in England - the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, the West Midlands - and Wales.

And now is a good time to invest. “While our five-year mainstream house price forecasts for the North East, North West and Wales are lower than the UK average, all areas are expected to experience positive growth to 2020, ranging from 12.0% in the North East to 14.8% in Wales,” says head of Savills UK residential research, Lucian Cook.

Blaenau Gwent in south Wales is the cheapest place to buy a home, with an average property price of £75,000. To afford a typical two- or three-bedroom terrace house in this area, single buyers need to earn just over £13,000 a year. As the average income in Blaenau Gwent exceeds this by £6,000, this is named as the most affordable place for single buyers to get on to the property ladder.

At £123,000, the highest average property prices of the 16 locations are in North Lincolnshire, and you can expect to buy a three-bedroom semi-detached house for this amount. Here, the average annual income is almost £23,000, and single buyers need to earn close to this amount to qualify for a mortgage.

Liverpool tops the list as the most expensive area for individual buyers, who need an annual income of £20,978 to buy a home worth £118,000. This will buy a centrally located one-bedroom flat or a four-bedroom terrace home on the outskirts of town.

Buying as a couple on two salaries is considered lower risk by lenders and almost halves the amount each person needs to earn a year in order to buy a home, reducing individual salaries to just £8,571 in Blaenau Gwent, rising to a maximum of £14,057 in North Lincolnshire. 

The income needed is not exactly half of the amount needed for a single buyer because the loan-to-income ratios for single and dual earners are different, typically three-and-a-half times the income for dual earners and four-and-a-half times income for single earners.

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