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The least expensive places to live in the UK

If you’re keen to step onto the property ladder, but affordability is a concern, it’s worth spending some time researching budget-friendly locations near you.

To find out where you can get the most bricks and mortar for your buck, we have compared the average property price with the average salary in more than 1,000 UK towns to show a price-to-earnings ratio. 

Shildon in County Durham is crowned as the most affordable town on this measure, with the average property price coming in at £60,000. When looking at the average annual income in Shildon, the figure of £28,000 sits at just under half of the £60,000 average property price, giving a price-to-earnings ratio of 2.11, the lowest across the UK!

The map below shows which towns are the most affordable according to average property price-to-earnings ratios:

When analysing the north-south divide across England, all of the top 20 most affordable towns are situated in the north east and north west regions – making the north of England far more affordable than the south. 

In Wales, the most affordable town in which to purchase a home is Ferndale in Rhondda Cynon Taff, with the average property price costing just 2.67 times the average salary. 

Overall, England is revealed as the least affordable country to buy a property in the UK, with the average price being £100,000 more expensive than in Wales and Scotland.

Take a look below to find out where the top 20 most affordable towns are:

County Durham is a top runner in the chart, with areas of the county ranking not only in the top 20 but also in the top three: Shildon at number one and Ferryhill at three. 

We have also analysed property prices and sizes on a local scale to compare how much a square metre of property costs in towns up and down the country. Take a look at the graphic below:

In terms of which country has the best price per square metre, it’s fairly level across the board but England takes the top spot (with Shildon at only £756 per square metre).

If you’re looking to jump onto the property ladder, take a look at the current houses for sale and new homes for sale in locations near you.

*Zoopla analysed average property prices and salaries for over 1,000 UK towns. Average earnings data was sourced from The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 2019. Figures for cost per square metre was based on average property price and average property size according to Hometrack UK. Approximately 300 towns with the lowest property stock were excluded from the analysis. All data correct as of May 2020.