These are the most expensive places to buy a home in the UK

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on Jul 10, 2024
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London’s property market continues to dominate the list of the most expensive places to buy a home in the UK. A recent study has revealed that eight of the UK’s top twenty most unaffordable locations for homebuyers are in the capital.

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The borough of Kensington and Chelsea takes the top spot with an average property price of £1,197,249, making it the most expensive and least affordable area in the country.

Kensington and Chelsea: The pinnacle of unaffordability

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Kensington and Chelsea, a borough renowned for its affluent residents, including international billionaires, industry moguls, and celebrities, holds the title of the UK’s priciest place to buy a home.

The average property price here is a staggering £1,197,249, which is 16.18 times the typical salary. Despite a minimal price increase of just 0.73% since 2020, the borough’s high property values and median earnings of £73,996 contribute to its top ranking.

London’s dominance in the property market

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Other London areas that feature prominently in the list of unaffordable hotspots include Westminster, Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham, Barnet, Islington, Harrow, and Merton.

These boroughs have seen varying degrees of price increases and continue to be popular despite the high cost of living.

Westminster: With an average house price of £936,715 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 9.95, Westminster ranks second on the list. House prices have increased by 4.42% since 2020, with median earnings for couples standing at £94,172.

Camden: Ranking fourth, Camden boasts an average house price of £797,248 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 9.02. The area has seen a modest increase in house prices by 0.7% since 2020, with median earnings for couples at £88,400.

Hammersmith and Fulham: In sixth place, Hammersmith and Fulham have an average house price of £724,641 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 8.41. House prices have risen by 3.72% since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £86,206.

Beyond London: The Home Counties and other hotspots

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Outside of London, the Home Counties, particularly Surrey, are high on the unaffordability scale. These areas are popular with commuters due to their proximity to London and offer a blend of rural charm and urban accessibility.

Elmbridge, Surrey: Third on the list, Elmbridge includes towns like Weybridge and Esher. The average house price here is £675,946, with a house price-to-earnings ratio of 8.46. House prices have risen by 4.07% since 2020, with median earnings for couples at £79,872.

Mole Valley, Surrey: Ranked ninth, Mole Valley has an average house price of £565,217 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 6.19. House prices have increased by 5.04% since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £91,291.

Tandridge, Surrey: In tenth place, Tandridge has an average house price of £516,880 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 6.84. House prices have risen by 4.69% since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £75,618.

Other notable areas outside of London include the Cotswolds, South Hams in Devon, and parts of Hertfordshire, Kent, Hampshire, and Sussex. These regions are known for their picturesque landscapes and affluent communities.

Areas with sluggish growth

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Despite the high costs, some London areas have experienced sluggish growth in house prices. Wandsworth, for instance, has seen the most stagnant growth with only a 0.51% increase since 2020.

Similarly, Southwark has seen a decrease of 0.74% in house prices over the same period.

The contrast: Affordable areas in the UK

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In stark contrast, the study highlights regions where housing remains relatively affordable. Angus, located on Scotland’s scenic east coast, is at the bottom of Britain’s affordability league. Here, the average property price is £164,076, just 2.31 times the local average salary. This affordability makes it a stark contrast to the high prices seen in London and the Home Counties.

Economic and social implications

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The unaffordability of housing in these areas has significant social and economic implications. The high cost of living, coupled with increasing mortgage interest rates, has caused the property market to stagnate in recent years.

The squeeze on the cost of living has also forced many residents to reconsider their living arrangements, with some opting to move to more affordable regions.

The study, conducted by property experts at Hopkins Homes, assessed affordability across 325 areas in England, Scotland, and Wales. The analysis included average house prices, changes since 2020, house price-to-couples earnings ratios, and average council tax.

This comprehensive analysis provides a clear snapshot of the UK’s housing market and highlights the stark disparities in housing affordability across the country.

The UK’s property market continues to reflect significant disparities in affordability, with London and the Home Counties dominating the list of the most expensive places to buy a home.

The high property prices in these areas underscore the ongoing challenges faced by potential homeowners, particularly in securing affordable housing.

As economic conditions fluctuate and interest rates impact the market, these findings offer critical insights into the current state and future trends of the UK housing market.

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