Is UK property unaffordable?

Depending on who you listen to, it’s either the perfect time to invest in property or it’s horrendously overvalued and ripe for a crash.

This week, we look at the data behind the claims that UK property is unaffordable – and show how easy it is to cherry-pick one measure to support an agenda. We look at affordability through the lens of:

  • Actual house prices (and see the shocking impact of inflation over the long-term)
  • Prices after adjusting for inflation, to identify the specific extent of house price inflation
  • The price of houses as a multiple of earnings, and whether this is historically high
  • The ongoing affordability of housing, looking at the monthly cost of a mortgage as a percentage of income

There are some fascinating stats – as well as some really important insights into how affordability varies across regions, and where value might be found.

Resource of the week

The affordability of rents is an equally important topic, with experts saying that ideally people shouldn’t pay more than 30% of their take-home pay on rent.

This tool from the BBC shows you where that target is actually achievable, by making it easy to search for average wages and average rents in every local authority area.

It’ll be no surprise that nowhere in London is it possible to rent for the target amount, yet it is in almost every area of the north. Well worth playing around with!

News this week

OK, not strictly news, but who doesn’t love a map showing average house prices mapped onto the UK rail network?

Useful? Maybe. Good for browsing for a few minutes when you don’t feel like doing whatever you’re meant to be doing? Definitely.

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