Want a cheap place to live in the UK? 20 most (and least) affordable cities

The results may surprise you.

Finding an affordable place to live in the UK is the ultimate mission. And with UK house prices increasing at a much faster rate than our wages – with the average British home now costing £261,221 – it’s only getting harder.

In many cases, factors such as job location, family and friends will limit people from buying in certain areas. But if you’ve got a bit more freedom and want to find a cheap place to live in the UK, you’ll want to take a closer look at Halfiax’s new index of the most – and least – affordable cities to buy in.

After comparing each city’s average salary to its average house price in 2021, Halifax has calculated a price-to-earnings ratio, indicating where your income will go the furthest. The average price-to-earnings ratio in cities across the country is 8.1, having increased from 5.6 in 2013, but there are some areas where it is much higher – and others where it is much lower.

Although you might assume that London is the least affordable place to live in the UK, it’s actually Winchester in Hampshire that is ranked as the most expensive compared to the average salary in the area. In fact, London doesn’t even make the top five least affordable cities in the UK. At the other end of the scale, Derry in Northern Ireland has been highlighted as the most affordable city when you take wages and house prices into account. So without further ado, here are the full lists…

The most affordable cities in the UK to live in in 2021:

1. Derry, Northern Ireland

Average house price: £155,917
Average salary: £33,138
Price-to-earnings ratio: 4.7

The Peace Bridge and Guildhall in Londonderry / Derry in Northern Ireland



=2. Carlisle, North

Average house price: £163,232
Average salary: £34,087
Price-to-earnings ratio: 4.8

=2. Bradford, Yorkshire and the Humber

Average house price: £164,410
Average salary: £34,219
Price-to-earnings ratio: 4.8

=4. Stirling, Scotland

Average house price: £208,927
Average salary: £38,744
Price-to-earnings ratio: 5.4

=4. Aberdeen, Scotland

Average house price: £205,199
Average salary: £38,016
Price-to-earnings ratio: 5.4

Cross Mercat in Aberdeen at Night 


=4. Glasgow, Scotland

Average house price: £196,625
Average salary: £36,205
Price-to-earnings ratio: 5.4

7. Perth, Scotland

Average house price: £203,229
Average salary: £36,700
Price-to-earnings ratio: 5.5

=8. Inverness, Scotland

Average house price: £191,840
Average salary: £34,373
Price-to-earnings ratio: 5.6

=8. Hull, Yorkshire and the Humber

Average house price: £156,424
Average salary: £27,730
Price-to-earnings ratio: 5.6

The picture was taken from Hull, United Kingdom 


10. Dundee, Scotland

Average house price: £181,150
Average salary: £31,344
Price-to-earnings ratio: 5.8

11. Sunderland, North

Average house price: £179,567
Average salary: £29,745
Price-to-earnings ratio: 6.0

12. Lisburn, Northern Ireland

Average house price: £203,386
Average salary: £33,138
Price-to-earnings ratio: 6.1

=13. Salford, North West

Average house price: £211,903
Average salary: £34,444
Price-to-earnings ratio: 6.2

=13. Durham, North

Average house price: £196,274
Average salary: £31,762
Price-to-earnings ratio: 6.2

Durham Cathedral and town 


=13. Liverpool, North West

Average house price: £215,741
Average salary: £34,911
Price-to-earnings ratio: 6.2

=13. Belfast, Northern Ireland

Average house price: £205,228
Average salary: £33,138
Price-to-earnings ratio: 6.2

=13. Lancaster, North West

Average house price: £217,392
Average salary: £35,004
Price-to-earnings ratio: 6.2

18. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North

Average house price: £229,434
Average salary: £36,212
Price-to-earnings ratio: 6.3

Millennium Bridge at Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK 


19. Stoke-on-Trent, West Midlands

Average house price: £200,161
Average salary: £30,698
Price-to-earnings ratio: 6.5

20. Hereford, West Midlands

Average house price: £316,929
Average salary: £48,048
Price-to-earnings ratio: 6.6

cathedral and the cityscape of Hereford 


The least affordable cities in the UK to live in in 2021:

1. Winchester, South East

Average house price: £630,432
Average salary: £45,059
Price-to-earnings ratio: 14.0

Winchester Gothic Cathedral, England 


2. Oxford, South East

Average house price: £486,928
Average salary: £39,220
Price-to-earnings ratio: 12.4

=3. Truro, South West

Average house price: £356,788
Average salary: £29,558
Price-to-earnings ratio: 12.1

=3. Bath, South West

Average house price: £476,470
Average salary: £39,508
Price-to-earnings ratio: 12.1

5. Chichester, South East

Average house price: £446,899
Average salary: £37,352
Price-to-earnings ratio: 10.6

The photo was taken in Chichester, United Kingdom 


6. Cambridge, East Anglia

Average house price: £482,300
Average salary: £40,492
Price-to-earnings ratio: 11.9

7. Brighton and Hove, South East

Average house price: £449,243
Average salary: £38,737
Price-to-earnings ratio: 11.6

8. London, South East

Average house price: £564,695
Average salary: £51,257
Price-to-earnings ratio: 11.0

=9. St Albans, South East

Average house price: £604,423
Average salary: £59,391
Price-to-earnings ratio: 10.2

St Albans Cathedral 

St Albans

=9. Chelmsford, South East

Average house price: £424,690
Average salary: £41,781
Price-to-earnings ratio: 10.2

11. Salisbury, South West

Average house price: £392,355
Average salary: £39,154
Price-to-earnings ratio: 10.0

12. Exeter, South West

Average house price: £323,554
Average salary: £32,635
Price-to-earnings ratio: 9.9



13. Leicester, East Midlands

Average house price: £279,080
Average salary: £28,725
Price-to-earnings ratio: 9.7

14. Norwich, East Anglia

Average house price: £306,946
Average salary: £32,632
Price-to-earnings ratio: 9.4

15. Bristol, South West

Average house price: £346,902
Average salary: £37,357
Price-to-earnings ratio: 9.3

=16. Southampton, South East

Average house price: £310,435
Average salary: £34,429
Price-to-earnings ratio: 9.0

=16. Canterbury, South East

Average house price: £365,168
Average salary: £40,565
Price-to-earnings ratio: 9.0



=16. Gloucester, South West

Average house price: £287,600
Average salary: £31,987
Price-to-earnings ratio: 9.0

19. Worcester, West Midlands

Average house price: £303,132
Average salary: £34,389
Price-to-earnings ratio: 8.8

20. Cardiff, Wales

Average house price: £276,851
Average salary: £31,946
Price-to-earnings ratio: 8.7

Big Wheel, pier end building and ferry building located at Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay - Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom at Night (Big Wheel, Pier end building and ferry building located at Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay - Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom 


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