Cultural capital? House prices in ‘culture capitals’ are among the cheapest in the UK

Hull: cultural capital and also affordable. Picture Bruce Rollinson
Hull: cultural capital and also affordable. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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BOTH former and about-to-be UK Cities of Culture have some of the cheapest housing in the country, according to a survey.

Londonderry, in Northern Ireland, which took the title in 2013, is top of a list of most affordable UK cities, with the average home costing 3.8 times average earnings.

Hull - which celebrates City of Culture next year - came 11th with properties costing more than five times average earnings.

In fourth spot in the most affordable list was Bradford at 4.32 times average earnings.

Lloyds Bank’s affordability ratio, which compares average city house prices with average gross local earnings, shows it has reached its worst level in eight years.

It found that the average city property now costs 6.6 times earnings, up from a multiple of 6.2 a year ago.

The report found the average UK city house price has risen by 8% from £196,229 in 2015 to a record level of £211,880 in 2016.

There is also a growing North-South divide in the affordability of a home, with St Albans, Bath, Truro, Exeter, Oxford and Cambridge all among the least affordable cities, costing over 10 times the averga elocal wage.

York has also joined the ranks of the least affordable at number 15 in the list, with a property there costing 7.5 times earnings.

According to Rightmove last year most property sales in Hull involved terraced houses which sold for an average of £92,063.

In contrast in York terraced properties fetched £225,607.

Lloyds used official earnings figures and house prices from Halifax’s database to make the findings.

It said the affordability of a home in UK cities is on average now at its worst level since the average house price-to-earnings ratio increased to 7.2 at the height of the last housing market boom in 2008.

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said: “House price rises in the past three years have risen more steeply than average wage growth, making it more expensive to buy a home in the majority of UK cities.

“This has also widened the North-South divide, as house prices in the South have generally seen stronger growth than in the North.”