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The most affordable towns and cities to buy a home in the UK

Towns and cities can be expensive places to buy a home - but some are a lot more affordable than others. Here’s where to find them.

Words by: Nic Hopkirk

Senior Editor

Looking to step onto the property ladder but not sure where to start?

How about one of the UK’s most affordable places?

We’ve looked into the average earnings in towns and cities across the UK and compared them to the cost of buying the average home in each one.

So if you love the buzz of cosmopolitan living without the London prices, here’s where to start looking. 

10. Rotherham

Average property price: £151,220

Cost: 2.37 x 2 annual salaries (£63,922)

3 bed semi, Rotherham

See more of this 3-bed home for £110,000 

In at number 10 in the charts, Rotherham is a large, historic minster town set in South Yorkshire, with a bustling centre that’s about to undergo huge regeneration work. 

Plans are underway to create a brand new market square, riverside public park, leisure facilities, cinemas, markets and more.

It’s also part of the Sheffield green belt, meaning beautiful walks and parks are right on its doorstep. 

House prices here are cheaper than in the rest of South Yorkshire - and with so many exciting plans underway, Rotherham is one to watch.

Search for 3-bed homes under £160k in Rotherham

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9. Doncaster 

Average property price: £159,410

Cost: 2.37 x 2 annual salaries (£67,178)

 3-bed home, Doncaster, £130,000

See more of this 3-bed home for £130,000

At number nine in our cheapest places to buy a home in the UK is Doncaster.

Just 40 minutes from Sheffield and around an hour from Leeds and York, Doncaster is ideal for those seeking a semi-rural lifestyle. 

Surrounded by charming market towns and villages, including Hooton Pagnell, Hickleton and Barnburgh Village, there’s so much to explore nearby.

In Doncaster itself, Sandall Park and Lakeside Lake are great for weekend strolls, while Cusworth Hall is well worth a visit. 

A bustling shopping scene featuring high street faves and boutiques, plus a large thriving outdoor food and homewares market, all feed into the town centre buzz.

Foodies are spoilt for choice with dozens of top notch cafes and restaurants: check out the Jazz Cafe or The Glass Strawberry for brunch or lunch, or for a special night out, La Boca or La Rustica restaurants are where it’s at.

8. Liverpool

Average property price: £163,870

Cost: 2.37 x 2 annual salaries (£69,000)

3 bed semi, Liverpool

See more of this 3 bed semi for £165,000

Who doesn’t love Liverpool? With its bustling cosmopolitan vibe, exceptional shops, cafes, restaurants and culture, Liverpool is a buzzy city that seamlessly blends stunning heritage sites with glossy city skyscrapers.

Liverpool’s iconic waterfront, easy access to local beaches and huge array of arts and cultural venues, not to mention awesome shops, cafes and restaurants, make it a destination in itself.

And as the home of the original fab four, Liverpool’s music scene remains legendary today, with too many festivals, clubs and live music venues to mention.

Crucially, the price of homes - and the cost of living here - is attractive. It’s 23% cheaper than London, according to Numbeo’s index

Area guide: Liverpool

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7. Barnsley

Average property price: £155,170

Cost: 2.27 x 2 annual salaries  £68,288

3 bed semi, Barnsley

See more of this 3-bed semi for £160,000

Halfway between Sheffield and Leeds in South Yorkshire sits the traditional market town of Barnsley.

Currently on the up thanks to major regeneration work, Barnsley is surrounded by incredible countryside, with the Peak District National Park right on its doorstep.

With a rich industrial heritage, Barnsley also plays host to a 700-year-old market with over 300 stalls.

For shopping, the recently opened Glass Works has some major high street favourites, and shoppers should also check out the Victorian Arcade, Market Street, Cheapside and the Alhambra shopping centre.

Locke Park is a great place to take the kids and enjoy afternoon strolls and picnics and education here is excellent, with an incredible 19 primary schools rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted.

Area guide: Barnsley

6. Bradford

Average property price: £140,460

Cost: 2.15 x 2 annual salaries (£65,385)

3 bed semi, Bradford

See more of this 3-bed semi for £150,000

Just 9 miles from Leeds and 37 miles from York, vibrant Bradford offers homes that are way cheaper than both the national average house price (£260,800) and its surrounding cities.

Known for its industrial heritage, Bradford’s city centre is buzzing with shops, including high street faves, boutiques, vintage finds and regular markets.

And there’s plenty of culture on offer too.

The National Science and Media Museum are both here, featuring eight floors of free galleries and three cinemas, including the UK's first IMAX.

Plus the city’s most exclusive parks and gardens can be found in its centre too, including Mughal Garden and Shalamar Gardens.

On the outskirts, you’ll find Saltaire, a Victorian model village, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

And for nature lovers, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Ilkley Moors and Forest of Bowland Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty are all nearby. Plus the city itself has an impressive 44 parks to choose from.

Area guide: Bradford

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5. Glasgow

Average property price: £153,310

Cost: 2.11 x 2 annual salaries (£72,740)

2 bed apartment, Glasgow

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Glasgow is the fifth most popular tourism destination in the UK. And if you're living in this vibrant Scottish city, you’ll already know that a lot of the best stuff to do here is free.

Spend a weekend uncovering Glasgow's rich history with a free visit to the Riverside Museum or the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, or dive into the city's medieval past at the Glasgow Cathedral, built between the 13th and 15th centuries.

It’s also a fashion lover’s paradise: shopping here is reputed to be second only to the West End in London. Check out the celebrated Style Mile in the centre of town, or head to the West End to explore boutiques, vintage shops and quirky cafes.

Check out the amazing street art by day and when night falls, enjoy Glasgow's live music scene at legendary venues like the Barrowland Ballroom.

Area guide: Glasgow

4. Hull

Average property price: £128,940

Cost: 2.1 x 2 annual salaries (£61,349)

3 bed terraced house, Hull

See more of this 3-bed home terrace for £125,000

With a relatively low cost of living, Hull boasts a great selection of restaurants (including award-winning fish and chip shops), excellent traditional British pubs and bars - and plenty of parks to explore. 

With a friendly community vibe, Hull is a compact city, so easy to explore on foot. The Medieval Minster, Trinity Square and the pastel hued Prince Street are a treat to behold.

Look out for properties in the Fruit Market cultural quarter, where the vibrant Humber Street, (named best street in the UK in the 2017 Academy of Urbanism's annual awards) has some beautiful homes.

Hull’s proximity to Leeds (just over an hour by direct train) also makes it a great place to commute from.

3. Dundee

Average property price: £137,060

Cost: 2.09 x 2 annual salaries (£65,641)

2 bed apartment, Dundee

See more of this 2-bed apartment for £130,000

Set in a stunning location at the mouth of the River Tay, Dundee is a vibrant, modern affordable city on the east coast of Scotland.

The Sunday Times has voted Dundee among its top 10 places to live in the UK, not once, but twice.

With two big universities and a college, the town has a youthful population and a lively nightlife scene with plenty of clubs and bars. But there are also lots of lovely peaceful seaside suburbs right on its doorstep.

Thanks to a good period of regeneration, the city has a stunning new waterfront development and cultural quarter, while the arrival of the impressive V&A Museum seamlessly blends into the it’s traditional heritage.

Overgate Shopping Centre is where it's at for high street faves, while independents and pop up stores can be found at the Wellgate Shopping Centre and various Indie Markets that take place throughout the year.

Area guide: Dundee  

2. Sunderland

Average property price: £117,870

Cost: 1.9 x 2 annual salaries (£62,171)

2 bed terrace, Sunderland

See more of this 2-bed cottage for £133,000

A small and friendly city with a population of 175,000, Sunderland is a 30 minute drive from both Newcastle and Durham. 

Surrounded by glorious countryside, this beachside city has access to some beautiful shores and coastal walks to boot.

Roker beach is all rugged cliffs and ‘cannonball’ limestone rock formations, while over in Seaburn, there are wide, golden sandy beaches, alongside children’s playgrounds and rock pools for sealife spotting. 

From the spectacular Northern Spire Bridge to the historic Empire Theatre, Sunderland city centre seamlessly combines its rich heritage with a modern atmosphere and buzzes with life every day of the week. 

Area guide: Sunderland

1. Middlesbrough

Average property price: £109,040

Cost: 1.84 x 2 annual salaries (£59,214)

3 bed semi, Middlesbrough

See more of this 3-bed property for £115,000

Top of the charts when it comes to affordable cities in the UK is Middlesbrough

A large town nestled in North Yorkshire, Middlesbrough is surrounded by some of the UK’s most stunning countryside, with the North York Moors National Park just 30 minutes away - and the Yorkshire Dales an hour’s drive.

For commuting or weekend trips, it’s an hour from both York and Newcastle - and an hour and 15 minutes from Leeds.

A former industrial city set on the banks of the River Tees, Middlesbrough has undergone multi-million pound regeneration. Enter a flagship new arts college, new housing and businesses. Meanwhile, plans for an urban farm are in the pipeline.

Foodies will love Baker Street, Middlesbrough's vibrant new area brimming with colourful cafes and micro-pubs serving homegrown, homemade food. 

And sports fans are spoilt for choice with the excellent Middlesbrough sports village, Prissick Plaza skate park, white water rafting centre and so much more.

With the average 3-bed semi coming in at under £110k - way below the national average of around £260,800 - Middlesbrough tops our chart of cheapest cities to live in the UK. 

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.