The prospects of buying a new home in the north of the UK have improved, according to new figures, which indicated the gap between earnings and house prices has fallen.
The research conducted by Yorkshire Building Society, based on official earnings figures and Land Registry data for house prices in 356 local authority areas, found the most significant improvements have come in the North East of England where affordability has increased by an average of 26 per cent.
Other notable improvements were recorded in Scotland (20 per cent) and Yorkshire and the Humber (14 per cent).
The findings revealed that in many areas, property is cheaper to buy now than in 2007 for the people who live there, when looking at a house price to earnings ratio.
Inverclyde, near Glasgow, was revealed to have experienced the greatest improvement in affordability, with homes now 42 per cent more affordable than in 2007 and costing 3.67 times the average salary, followed by North Ayrshire, where homes are 37 per cent more affordable at 3.55 times the average wage.
Andrew McPhillips, Yorkshire Building Society chief economist, said: “Unsurprisingly, the data shows that there is a distinct divide between the north and south of the country when it comes to housing affordability, but this has become even more pronounced since the financial crash.
“Across London and large swathes of southern England, which were already some of the most unaffordable parts of the country, it has become increasingly difficult for first-time buyers and those wanting to move up the housing ladder to be able to buy their first or next home.
“However, the north of England, Wales and Scotland present a different picture entirely, with many places, such as Edinburgh, Peterborough and Birmingham, becoming more affordable than they were before the credit crunch.”
The narrowing of the gap is largely due to house prices not yet rebounding to the level they were at in 2007, combined with wages increasing at a higher rate in recent years.
Making new homes more attainable
Avant Homes recently announced initiatives designed to make access to new homes even easier for potential house buyers. A new range of house types have been created to offer a wider selection of size and price options to buyers looking for a new home.
Nine new house types, which range from 630 sq ft two-bedroom homes up to 1,270 sq ft four-bedroom homes have been introduced.
Colin Lewis, chief executive of Avant Homes, said: “The exciting extension to our product range we have launched today speaks to our growth ambitions and ongoing mission to make our aspirational product available to more customers in our core northern UK markets.
“I was inspired by the Housing Market Intelligence Conference in 2015 which highlighted the market need for more attainable homes. We have been developing this extension to our product range across the last two years with the key aim of offering a compelling mixture of leading edge design and high specification at a price point which would make an Avant home available to more people.”
To find out about Avant Homes’ developments in Scotland, the North East, Yorkshire and the Midlands, click here.