Most affordable regions in the UK to buy a home

We look at the most affordable parts of the UK to buy a property, in terms of average salaries and the number of years needed to save for a 10% deposit.

House/flat sold sign
(Image credit: Peter Dazeley)

With house prices falling and mortgage rates starting to tumble, some first-time buyers may be thinking seriously about getting their foot on the property ladder. But which areas are most affordable, and where will you see your money stretch the furthest?

Research by comparison site Compare My Move has crunched the numbers to find out the most affordable housing regions in the UK, by looking at average salaries for each region, the cost of a 10% deposit for the average house, and how many years it would take to save that deposit.

The north-east has the cheapest average property price, according to Rightmove’s November house price index, at £181,829. But this doesn’t mean it is therefore the most affordable part of the country.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

Conversely, salaries in London are high, but that doesn’t mean property in the capital is particularly affordable.

We look at which regions are the most affordable - and which are the least affordable.

Most affordable housing regions

The Compare My Move data looks at the average percentage of income saved by the British public - 8.21% - and the time it would take to save a 10% deposit on an average salary for a typical home.

In terms of a UK average, it calculates that a Brit on the average UK salary buying a property with the average UK price would spend 11 years and four months saving up for a deposit.

It then looks at different areas, taking account of average regional salaries, and regional house prices.

Scotland takes the crown as the most affordable region, with the average Scot taking six years to save up and put a 10% deposit down on the average house.

The average salary in Scotland is £35,515 while the average property price is £185,766.

The north-east comes second, at seven years. The average salary is £31,200 while the average house costs £181,829.

Yorkshire and the Humber takes third place, at nine years. In fact, the top four slots are all northern regions, with Wales coming fifth.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Region Average 10% house deposit (£)Average monthly savings (£)Months to save 10% depositYears to save 10% deposit
Scotland 18,577 243.00766
North East 18,183 213.46857
Yorkshire and the Humber 24,237 218.391119
North West 25,511 226.021139
Wales 25,419 221.4711510
West Midlands 28,320 225.8012510
East Midlands 28,112 216.4313011
South West 37,679 228.8516514
East 41,387 238.3217414
South East 47,214 250.1318916
London 67,326 303.5622218
UK average 32,906 235.0413711

Least affordable housing regions

London is the least affordable housing region in the UK. If you are on the average London salary (£44,370), it would take a staggering 18 years to put a 10% deposit down on the average London house - triple the amount of time it would take in Scotland. 

The capital has the highest average house price in the UK (£673,257), which is more than double the UK average, and over £200,000 more than the second-most expensive region, the south-east. 

However, the annual salary in London isn’t seeing the same rise over the UK average that the house prices are. Compare My Move says that while house prices in London are 104.6% more than the UK average, the average annual salary in London is only 29.2% more than the UK average, which affects the affordability of the city.

The regions surrounding London are also toward the bottom of the table, with the south-east and east taking the average person 16 years and 14 years respectively to save for a 10% deposit on the average house.

If you’re a landlord looking for the most profitable parts of the country, have a look at Most profitable areas for buy-to-let.

Ruth Emery
Contributing editor

Ruth is passionate about helping people feel more confident about their finances. She was previously editor of Times Money Mentor, and prior to that was deputy Money editor at The Sunday Times. 

A multi-award winning journalist, Ruth started her career on a pensions magazine at the FT Group, and has also worked at Money Observer and Money Advice Service. 

Outside of work, she is a mum to two young children, a magistrate and an NHS volunteer.