Inside every Briton is a property investor trying to get out. Our neighbours in continental Europe love to rent, but an English person’s home is his or her castle.
There is just one barrier to this dream of home-ownership: house prices have risen far faster than either wages or inflation, climbing 8.2 per cent in the year to November, according to data from Halifax. They have moderated recently - the last quarterly change was 0.7 per cent, but average prices remain high.
What is more, there is often a large gap between average wages in a given area and the average house price. London is a huge residential fortress, its battlements typically manned by the highest prices and fastest rates of growth in the country.
According to data from Halifax, the median wage in Blackpool will get you 1.5 metres of prime Chelsea floorspace, while the median wage in Westminster would buy you 42 square metres of house in Blaenau Gwent, Wales.
But how much would your wage buy you in different parts of the country? Put your wage into our calculator and select a local authority from the list to find out how many square metres of real estate you could afford.
If you're thinking of buying in London, here is a guide to the most expensive boroughs in the city, and how much house the median wage in each area could buy you.
About the map
The map above has three layers. The first shows how many metres of floorspace a resident in a given local authority can buy with his or her median gross annual earnings
Clicking the second button reveals how many square metres you can buy across the country for the national median wage (£22,044 according to the ONS). National median earnings will get you very little in London: two metres in Chelsea and Kensington and 2.5 in Westminster.
Finally, the third map shows the differences between how many metres the median salary would have bought in 2009 and how many metres the median salary could get you today. Reds and yellows show an increase and blues a decrease. Please note that some local authority boundaries have changed since 2009, meaning an increase in grey, null areas.