Author : Maryanne Bowring
The pandemic has turned the housing market on its head. The stamp duty holiday has dramatically increased house prices right across the country, making buying a first home even more out of reach than it was a couple of years ago, while the staycation boom has driven landlords towards short-term lets taking large numbers of properties off the rental market. With demand up and supply down, the cost and desirability of many locations around the country have completely changed.
According to the Land Registry, the average price of a UK home is currently £265,688 but some areas are hugely more expensive and some are cheaper. So where are the most affordable towns and cities in the UK to live in right now? Research published last week by Flowercard puts Telford and Wrekin – about 28 miles from Birmingham – top of the list, with average rents coming in at around £450 a month and the price of one-bedroom homes at an affordable £95,000.
The company says the second most affordable place to live is Newport, the third-largest city in Wales, where the monthly rent is around £542 a month. For those who prefer to buy, a one-bedroom property can still be snapped up for less than £150,000. They put another Welsh location, Cardiff, in third place with average rental costs of around £566 for a one-bedroom apartment and one-bedroom properties priced lower than Newport at less than £120,000.
Derby, Newcastle on Tyne, Middlesbrough, Blackpool, Kingston-upon-Hull, and Ipswich all command rents of less than £600 per month and they all have one-bedroom properties for sale at under £150,000. Slough in Berkshire is the only town in Flowercard's top 10 that is located in the southeast. Here, monthly rents are considerably more expensive at around £800 a month while one-bedroom homes can’t be found for less than £214,000. Leaders Romans Group (LRG) has put together its own list of affordable locations - all across the north of England - that undercut the national average, with properties available to buy for £250,000 or less and good value rents.
Here’s their listing, based on current Rightmove adverts:
Salford – buy a two-bed terrace for £160,000 or rent for £795pcm
Durham – buy a two-bed terrace for £115,000 or rent for £550pcm
Bootle – buy a three-bed semi for £170,000 or rent for £795pcm
Roker – buy a two-bed flat for £90,000 or rent for £525pcm
Lincoln – buy a three-bed semi for £225,000 or rent for £750pcm
Crewe – buy a three-bed semi for £170,000 or rent for £750pcm
Bolton–buy a three-bed semi for £220,000 or rent for £825pcm
Northwich–buy a three-bed semi for £200,000 or rent for £850pcm
Ellesmere Port–buy a three-bed semi for £185,000 or rent for £750pcm
Carlisle–buy a three-bed terrace for £140,000 or rent for £575pcm
For anyone living in the south of England, these are the prices that dreams are made of. So with the Government promising to make flexible working easier for employees, now might be the time to look north for your next home. To take a look at the Flowercard research in more detail – and to find somewhere that you can afford to rent or buy–click here.
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
Strategic partnerships, holistic delivery/ opportunities, growth, value engineering, thought leadership
Ian Barber MD BTR Mobilisation & Leasing
Runs HQ & site lease-up teams. Drives rent pricing, mobilisation, marketing, happy residents!
Jon Curtis MRICS Head of Building Engineering
Chartered Building Surveyor. Lectures on EWS1 & building safety. Runs CapEx programmes.
Kate Robinson MIRPM MD Blocks/FM Management (London Region)
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Lee Harle Partner Ringley Law
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Anthony Kingdon MIRPM AssocRICS MD Blocks/FM Management (North Region)
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Chris Georgalis MRICS Head of Commercial Valuation
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Dipesh Parekh Director PlanetRent
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Steve Norman Planning Director
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