Shock news from Lloyds Bank: London is not the UK's least affordable city.
An affordability survey by the bank, comparing average house prices with average gross annual earnings, places the capital behind Oxford and Winchester.
The average price of a house in Oxford is £364,429, which is 10.68 times average earnings. Lloyds attributed Oxford's high score in part to its “attractiveness to commuters working in London”.
London's figure was 10.06, but Lloyds said this “disguises considerable variations across the capital with central boroughs being significantly less affordable than the Greater London average”.
And the research found that London has experienced the highest house price growth, with a rise of 53 per cent during the last five years to £437,825. This is ahead of Salford (48 per cent) and Cambridge (46 per cent).
The most affordable city in the UK was found to be Londonderry, Northern Ireland, with the average house costing £113,302, 3.8 times the gross average annual earnings.
The average UK city house price has risen eight per cent, from £196,229 in 2015 to £211,880 this year, Lloyds said. Over the same period, Lloyds Bank's average affordability figure has grown from 6.2 to 6.6.
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. Winchester has recorded the biggest gains over the past decade, whilst London, not surprisingly, has seen the largest growth during the economic recovery of the last five years.”