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County Durham town named the UK’s most affordable to buy a house for third year in a row


As UK strains under cost of living crisis, property website Zoopla has revealed the most affordable places to buy a home in Britain.

Shildon in County Durham retains its position as the most affordable town in Britain for the third year running. Nearby Ferryhill claimed third spot and Peterlee was sixth.

According to researchers, the average house price in Shildon was £71,000 while the median earnings of two earner households there is £62,500, giving a price to earnings ratio of 1.14.

Read more: Find out the impact on house prices in your North East area of the economic crash

Meanwhile in Ferryhill, with an average house price of £80,400 and two earner householders bringing in £62,500 annually, the ratio is 1.29. And in Peterlee the respective figures are £84,200 for houses, £62,500 for earnings giving a ratio of 1.35.



Locomotion No1, right, with the Hetton Colliery Lyon at the Locomotion railway museum in Shildon
Locomotion No1, right, with the Hetton Colliery Lyon at the Locomotion railway museum in Shildon

Grainne Gilmore, Head of Research at Zoopla, said: “The cost of living crisis has meant that affordability has been pushed to the forefront of buyers’ minds this year, more than ever.

“Our affordability data helps buyers to make informed decisions about where their money may go further across Britain, especially those who may have hidden equity in their home.



A street in Peterlee, one of the most affordable towns in the UK
A street in Peterlee, one of the most affordable towns in the UK

“Once again, we are seeing that many of the most affordable areas for potential home buyers are across Scotland and the North of England which could be attractive to those still searching for the perfect post-pandemic family space.”

Overall, Zoopla found that the average two-earner household will pay four times their combined annual income to buy a home of average value in Britain of £263,000 – an increase of 5% since 2021, reflecting that annual house price growth (as of January 2022) is almost double that of annual wage growth.

Towns in Scotland and the North retain pole position as the Britain’s most affordable areas. Four towns in Scotland also feature, with all areas of historic Ayrshire including Stevenson, Cumnock, Girvan and – the only new entrant – Irvine making the top ten list, thanks to equal steady house price and wage increases.



The 10 most affordable towns in the UK table
The 10 most affordable towns in the UK table

Cleator Moor, Egremont and Millom in Cumbria round off the top ten affordable towns in Britain.

As home buyers continue their pandemic fuelled ‘search for space’, these rural locations across Scotland, County Durham and Cumbria could be the perfect retreat for those looking for extra space and tranquillity, said Zoopla.





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