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10 most affordable places to buy a home in the South West

Wondering where to get the most for your money in the South West? Let's break down the most affordable spots to buy a home, from the Cornish coast to the Mendip Hills and the Wye Valley.

Words by: Ellie Isaac

Senior Editor

We love us a bit of the South West. Natural beauty, seafaring heritage, a slower pace and vibrant cities: this region's got it all.

We’re clearly not the only ones who think South West is best, as greater demand in recent years has pushed house prices up. So is anywhere in the South West affordable to buy a home anymore?

We’ve analysed house prices and local wages across the region to find out.

And as it happens, all 10 of these locations are more affordable than average in the UK.

Here are the 10 most affordable places to buy a home in the South West, ranked by their affordability ratio. That’s how many times a local couple’s joint annual income goes into the price of an average local house.

10. Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset

  • Affordability ratio: 3.74

  • Average salary of a couple: £73,113

  • Median home value: £273,780

The exterior of a classic Victorian terraced villa for sale in Weston-Super-Mare

Three bedroom terraced house for sale in Weston-Super-Mare: £275,000

Weston-Super-Mare has all the fun and kitsch charm you’d expect from a British seaside town, with its Victorian villas, pedestrianised high street and classic attractions. 

Like any resort town, Weston can feel a little grey in the winter months, but good schools, reasonable house prices and the nearby Mendip Hills certainly boost its year-round appeal. 

The seaside resort has become a top choice for young families moving out of pricier Bristol, which remains well within commuting distance.

The median home in Weston is worth £273,780 while a local couple can expect to earn £73,113 between them. By these measures, they can expect to spend 3.74 times their annual salary on a home.

It makes Weston-Super-Mare the 10th most affordable town to buy a home in the South West.

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9. Swindon, Wiltshire

  • Affordability ratio: 3.71

  • Average salary of a couple: £74,458

  • Median house value: £276,390

The exterior of a cute terraced cottage set close to the street in Swindon town centre

Two bedroom terraced house for sale in Swindon: offers in region of £280,000

Swindon’s humble roots mean it’s never quite seen as a Cotswolds town, despite sitting just 10 miles from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

But it’s a town on the rise, offering good schooling, mod-cons and proximity to both major cities and beautiful countryside.

Swindon’s main appeal lies in its affordability and connectivity, with lower house prices than nearby hotspots like Bristol, Newbury and Reading. It sits just off the M4 with a mainline train station that runs to both Bristol and London Paddington in under an hour.

For these reasons, many former city dwellers are seeing Swindon as a well-connected compromise where they can afford to get on the property ladder.

With a median home value of £276,390, the average couple spends 3.71 years of joint earnings when they buy a property in Swindon.

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8. Liskeard, Cornwall

  • Affordability ratio: 3.71

  • Average salary of a couple: £67,370

  • Median house value: £249,640

The exterior of a Victorian semi-detached house for sale in Liskeard with trees and bushes in the front garden giving it privacy

Three bedroom semi-detached house for sale in Barras Cross, Liskeard: offers over £270,000

This mediaeval market town sits 8 miles from the south Cornish coast at the head of the Looe Valley. It boasts a picturesque town centre and a plethora of activities geared at holiday makers, who flock to this part of the country from Easter to autumn.

Liskeard is close to sandy beaches and fishing villages, such as those at Looe, Seaton and Whitsand Bay. Good train connections lead to hotspots like Newquay and St Ives and many locals take the 30-minute train into Plymouth for work.

Steeped in history, Liskeard is famous for its Neolithic megaliths and 19th century industrial mining landscape, as well as for being a great base from which to explore the wild Bodmin Moor.

The average couple will spend 3.71 times their annual salary to buy a house in Liskeard, which costs £249,640. This makes it the 8th most affordable town in the South West.

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7. Yeovil, Somerset

  • Affordability ratio: 3.67

  • Average salary of a couple: £67,744

  • Median house value: £248,660

The exterior of a pretty Victorian terraced home with a low front wall, small garden and arched porch

Four bedroom end-terrace house for sale in Crofton Park, Yeovil: £250,000

Located right in the heart of Somerset, Yeovil boasts rich heritage, well-preserved architecture and a vibrant mix of shops, cafes and local markets.

With a population of around 50,000, Yeovil is a large town with the community feel of a country village.

Dating back to Roman times, the town developed the specialty of glove-making in the mediaeval era, in contrast to neighbouring wool-making towns. The passionately supported Yeovil Town FC still go by the nickname ‘The Glovers’.

Part of Yeovil’s appeal is its affordable housing. A couple will spend 3.67 times their joint income on a home, compared to 4.28 in Taunton and 4.80 in Bristol.

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6. Par, Cornwall

  • Affordability ratio: 3.65

  • Average salary of a couple: £67,370

  • Median house value: £246,160

The exterior of a small bungalow for sale in Par. A tarmac driveway leads to the left of the house and a For Sale sign is in the foreground.

Three bedroom semi-detached bungalow for sale in Par: £250,000

The fishing village of Par is nestled on the south east coast of Cornwall, two miles from the county’s most famous attraction, the Eden Project.

Par is a product of the 19th Century industrial age, with the still-active port first constructed to export copper, granite and China clay.

It’s quieter and arguably more plain than nearby Fowey and Carlyon Bay, but that means lower house prices and fewer tourists. And besides, being only minutes from some of the most spectacular beauty on the south Cornish coast, you’ll barely notice.

Recent rejuvenation projects are giving Par a new lease of life, from beach improvements  to community initiatives and proposed tourist attractions that aim to bring greater footfall and investment into the town.

Par is the second most affordable place to buy a house in Cornwall, beaten only by Camborne. The average couple can expect to spend 3.65 times their annual salary on the average home, worth £246,160.

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On the hunt for a beachy lifestyle without the pricetag? Check out the top 8 most affordable coastal towns in England. Spoiler alert: nowhere in Cornwall makes the list.

5. Coleford, Gloucestershire

  • Affordability ratio: 3.59

  • Average salary of a couple: £77,330

  • Median house value: £277,900

The exterior of a large red-brick semi-detached house for sale in Coleford. There is a large shared tarmac driveway in front of the two adjoining houses which are modern and well-presented

Three bedroom semi-detached house for sale in Coleford: £275,000

Coleford is a charming market town in the Forest of Dean, two miles east of the Welsh border. It’s known for having one of the prettiest town centres in the whole Forest, with its market square, clock tower and quintessential Georgian homes. 

The town draws a steady stream of visitors to the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley throughout the year, encouraging a thriving local business scene.

Locals love the award-winning foodie scene, from gorgeous delis to trendy cafes and cosy pubs, as well as the close-knit community, good schools and affordable house prices.

In terms of commuting, Coleford is best located for Gloucester and Cheltenham. But Cardiff, Bristol and Worcester are all doable, particularly if you work from home some of the time.

The average local couple earns £77,330 and local property averages £277,900, making Coleford the 5th most affordable place to buy in the South West.

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4. Camborne, Cornwall

  • Affordability ratio: 3.44

  • Average salary of a couple: £67,370

  • Median house value: £231,925

A set of modern terraced buildings with three floors, grey window frames and white cladding with neat bushes bordering their small front gardens.

Three bedroom terraced house for sale in Camborne: offers over £240,000

Camborne is a historic tin mining town in the heart of south Cornwall. Often talked about as one of the poorest towns in the UK, locals fiercely advocate for its healthy high street, independent business scene and strong community.

A key draw of Camborne is that it evades the huge summer influx of tourists to nearby resort towns like St Ives, Falmouth and Newquay, while still being within easy driving distance for a day out.

The Camborne area is home to some of the best natural beauty in Cornwall. Just search for Gwithian or Godrevy on Instagram and you’ll see what we mean.

Camborne has the second lowest median value of property in the whole South West (behind only Plymouth). With the average couple earning £67,370 between them, its affordability ratio works out to 3.44 - putting Camborne at 4th on our most affordable list.

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3. Portland, Dorset

  • Affordability ratio: 3.41

  • Average salary of a couple: £71,352

  • Median house value: £243,630

A semi-detached house on a hill with the sun setting in the distance. The view behind the house stretches to the coast.

Three bedroom semi-detached house for sale in Portland: £240,000

Next on our list is an actual island - the Isle of Portland, which juts out from Weymouth about halfway along the UNESCO Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

This unique area is best known as a tourist destination, attracting kite-surfers, divers, history buffs and all sorts of other holiday makers. 

Just four miles long, the tiny island is steeped in maritime heritage with museums, lighthouses and gorgeous cottages in the famous Portland stone. (Have a browse of Portland property for sale to see for yourself.)

With great sailing waters, migrating birds, a warm microclimate, wonderful walks and wild rocky beaches, Portland is a great place for all ages. And it comes without the higher house prices of Bournemouth or Poole further round the coast.

As for downsides, the island can feel a little isolated - no train station - and the landscape a little bleak thanks to its buffeted English Channel position.

Portland is the third most affordable place to buy a house in the South West, with the average couple’s salary sitting at £71,352 and the median home worth £243,630.

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2. Cinderford, Gloucestershire

  • Affordability ratio: 3.30

  • Average salary of a couple: £77,330

  • Median house value: £255,040

The exterior of a four bedroom semi for sale in Cinderford. It is built from Cotswold stone and has a porch and garage extension with a car parked in front.

Four bedroom semi-detached house for sale in Cinderford: offers in region of £250,000

Next up is Cinderford, another Forest of Dean town just 7 miles east of earlier entrant Coleford.

Cinderford is a country town with a strong community that unites around local schools, groups and sports clubs. There’s a decent high street of cosy pubs, takeaways and local shops, as well as a popular independent cinema that makes for a great (and cheap) night out.

Proximity to walking trails and Forest attractions are a major bonus of Cinderford, as well as sprawling views at almost every turn. 

Driving is the best way to get around - the closest train station is Lydney, 10 miles south.

Gloucester is only a little further (15 miles east) offering high street shopping, chain restaurants and nightlife that you won’t find in sleepy Cinderford.

It may not be the prettiest Forest of Dean town but that’s where affordable house prices can sweeten the deal. With a median value of £255,040, a local couple can expect to pay 3.30 times their £77k joint salary to get on the ladder.

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1. Plymouth, Devon

  • Affordability ratio: 3.29

  • Average salary of a couple: £66,239

  • Median house value: £217,650

The exterior of a terraced house in Plymouth with grey exterior, large bay windows and three upstairs windows. It's set close to the street with no front garden.

Four bedroom terraced house for sale in Plymouth: £220,000 guide price

Plymouth is the most affordable place to buy a home in the South West, with couples spending 3.29 times their joint salary to buy the average-priced property.

And when the average home costs £217,650, Plymouth has the cheapest prices of anywhere on our list. In fact, it’s the only place where homes average less than £230k.

This vibrant South West city really packs a punch when it comes to lifestyle, with a thriving city centre, vibrant waterfront precincts and two popular universities that draw young people in their droves.

The port city is best known for its rich maritime history, from the achievements of Sir Francis Drake to the Mayflower Steps. The most beautiful waterside spots - like the Barbican and Royal William Yard - are filled with family attractions, quaint tea rooms, award-winning restaurants and trendy bars in beautiful restored naval buildings.

With a population of over 260,000, Plymouth’s appeal is multifaceted - including its access to countryside, beaches, good schools and transport links to the rest of the South West.

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Plymouth area guide

Compare the most affordable towns in the South West

We've put all these towns into one handy table, along with their affordability ratio for both single and double income households.

Starting with the most affordable, you can compare home values and local wages in each location to see how they stack up compared to other affordable locations in the South West.

AreaAffordability ratio for a coupleAffordability ratio for a single personMedian home valueAverage annual salary of a local couple
Zoopla home values data and ASHE local authority earnings data (the latest available on 14/11/23)

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We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.