Getting onto the housing ladder is hard enough at the best of times, but it can be that little bit harder if you’re looking to buy a home on your own, with nobody to split the costs with.
That’s not to say that buying a home on your own is impossible, far from it, but one of the things that will make a massive difference is where you’re going to be looking to buy.
We’ve looked at some of the most populated towns and cities in the UK to see which are the most affordable for solo buyers, based on estimated mortgage and living costs as well as averages wages in the local area.
Of the 30 towns and cities that we analysed, Bradford, West Yorkshire, came out as the most affordable for those looking to buy a home on their own, with the average one-bed property costing as little as £67,370, equating to estimated mortgage payments of just £272. On an average monthly wage of £1,983, that means that those in Bradford only need to put around 44% of their earnings towards their mortgage and living expenses.
In Derby, the average one-bed property costs around £86,000, making it among the cheapest major towns and cities in the country. With an estimated monthly cost of living of £640, plus average mortgage repayments of £349, that means that just 45.1% of earnings go on day to day living and paying off the average mortgage.
Over in Northern Ireland, those living in Belfast also get a relatively good deal, with living expenses and mortgage repayments making up 45.5% of their £2,129 monthly earnings. There, the average one-bed property costs just under £100,000, with around £569 a month being spent on day to day essentials.
It’s perhaps no surprise to see that London is the least affordable city when buying on your own (or even with someone else for that matter), but what is shocking is that monthly mortgage costs and living expenses for a one-bed property in the capital equate to almost all of a Londoner’s average wage (98.7%), suggesting that if you want to buy in London, you’re going to have to be earning well above average and perhaps seek out properties at the cheaper end of the scale too.
In fact, each of the three least affordable cities were located in the south of England, with Brighton & Hove, on the south coast, taking second place. Brighton had the highest house price and cost of living outside of London of the cities that we looked at, taking up just over three-quarters (76.7%) of the average monthly income.
Another area with high house prices, a one-bed property in Reading costs around £227,000 and although earnings are also high, at £2,333 per month, just over two-thirds is taken up by estimated mortgage payments (£914) and cost of living (£692).
Average One-Bed Property Price
The average cost of a one-bed property (including both houses and flats) according to Zoopla.
Estimated Monthly Mortgage Payments
Calculated based on the average one-bed property price and a deposit of 15%, using the Money Advice Service’s Mortgage Calculator (assuming a 25-year repayment mortgage with an interest rate of 3%).
Estimated Monthly Cost of Living
Estimated monthly cost of living for one person according to Numbeo, figure includes a number of day to day expenses such as food, transport, clothing and more.
Average Monthly Earnings
We took the median annual salary from the Office for National Statistics’ earnings and hours worked, place of residence by local authority dataset (and NINIS Gross Annual Pay stats for Belfast), dividing by twelve to give a monthly figure.