Is take home pay the key?

New figures show housing affordability improving across England and Wales.

Affordability is basically the ratio of annual wages against house prices. So, it now costs the average worker in England and Wales 7.8 times their salary to purchase a house. 

The new figures from the Office for National Statistics look at the average income for residents in a given area and compare it to the average cost of housing in the same area as a measure of affordability.

In the Portsmouth City Council area, the good news is that the affordability ratio is below the national average at 7.1.

Unsurprisingly Kensington & Chelsea is the least affordable part of the country with average house prices at a massive 28.9 times the average income.

In contrast, Copeland, in Cumbria is the most affordable part of the country where the average house is three times the average income.

With many mortgage lenders insisting on maximum multiples of income for home loans, affordability can be a major issue.

However, there are many factors to take into account – including joint incomes if two people are buying together.

Naturally, the amount of deposit will make a difference as will local variations in house prices and market conditions, and each individual buyer’s own circumstances.

Read the ONS report at