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Britain’s most affordable towns for home buyers revealed

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
·2-min read

Shildon in County Durham has been identified as Britain’s most affordable town, with average house prices equating to around £6,000 more than a typical couple’s gross annual earnings.

The average house price in Shildon is £59,468 while the average earnings of a couple living there were put at £53,446, giving an average house price-to-earnings ratio of 1.1.

Ferryhill, also in County Durham, was also in the top 10 most affordable towns for home buyers, with a house price-to-earnings ratio of 1.35, according to the research compiled by Zoopla.

War memorial at Shildon
A war memorial at Shildon in County Durham in autumn 2018 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

In Scotland, towns in Ayrshire dominated the list, with Kilbirnie and Cumnock ranking in third and fourth place respectively, and Stevenston, Irvine and Girvan also in the top 10.

Zoopla said Scotland’s affordability was linked to two key factors – strong earnings locally and more reasonably-priced property, with average house prices in all of these towns below £65,000.

Buyers in Cleator Moor and Egremont in Cumbria also benefit from high levels of affordability, Zoopla said.

Egremont town sign
Egremont appears in Zoopla’s top 10 list of Britain’s most affordable towns (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said: “This data shows where buyers can benefit from some of the most affordable markets across the country, especially movers who have built up some equity in their current home.

“Capital values in the north of England and Scotland are relatively lower than in the south of England, meaning that many of the most affordable areas are clustered in these regions.”

The research looked at the 1,000 largest towns in Britain.

Here are the most affordable towns, according to Zoopla, with average gross household earnings for a couple followed by average house prices and the house price-to-earnings ratio:

1. Shildon, County Durham, North East, £53,446, £59,468, 1.11

2. Cleator Moor, Copeland, North West, £82,924, £96,269, 1.16

3. Kilbirnie, North Ayrshire, Scotland, £62,338, £76,303, 1.22

4. Cumnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland, £61,859, £77,414, 1.25

=5. Egremont, Copeland, North West, £82,924, £80,694, 1.29

=5. Stevenston, North Ayrshire, Scotland, £62,338, £106,771, 1.29

7. Ferryhill, County Durham, North East, £53,446, £72,264, 1.35

=8. Ferndale, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, £55,297, £77,421, 1.40

=8. Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland, £62,338, £87,478, 1.40

=8. Girvan, South Ayrshire, Scotland, £63,102, £88,587, 1.40