Welcome back everyone! January is now well and truly in full swing, with everyone full of fresh determination, unbroken New Year’s resolutions, and renewed vim and vigor for the year ahead. This unbridled energy for 2013 was so strong that, earlier this week, Adzuna HQ witnessed a record breaking surge of searches for jobs, property, and cars. The great British public has doggedly set to work finding that dream job, moving into that pimping pad and getting that new set of wheels.
Sooooo, given our wealth of ads (over 2 million now!) and awesome data, we thought who else is better equipped to look at the relationship between salary and property prices than our wizard data nerds? From looking at data from our property and jobs search engines, we garnered a fascinating and clear view of the differences in home affordability across the UK . Here’s what we found! Enjoy…
Overview – It’s clear that with UK unemployment levels dropping, average salaries growing slightly and house prices remaining relatively static in 2012 – homes in Britain have become more affordable. Our data suggests that pockets of real opportunity are springing up around the country for those looking to pick up a bargain in 2013.
In 2012, 59% of homes for sale have been within financial reach for the average UK residents, working on the basis that the average home now costs £282,117. This figure has improved by 7% over the last 12 months and we estimate it will continue to improve in early 2013.
Most Affordable – In 2012 Belfast, Hull and Birmingham topped the charts for the most affordable cities in the UK with up to 84% of homes within reach for locals. Hull was crowned the cheapest city to live in (average house price £136,115), as properties here are just over double the average couple’s yearly income. We reckon these homes will continue to become more affordable for locals in Q1 of this year.
Least Affordable – While luxury homes can fetch up to £50 million in the nation’s capital, Londoners’ high incomes mean it was only the 5th least affordable place to live in Britain in 2012. Wealthy home-counties towns like Guildford, Cambridge and Oxford were even less affordable than London, as properties here are on average 6x the average couple’s yearly salary. Our data nerds report that the North / South divide will still prevail this year as Southern cities continue to become less affordable for locals.
Renting – Stoke-on-Trent, Bradford and Hull were the most affordable cities to rent property last year with over 94% of rental properties within reach for a couples’ combined monthly income. Like the property for sale market, bringing up the rear in the least affordable contest were Oxford, London and Guildford with only 1 in 5 rental properties within budget. Average rent in Hull and Bradford was only 15% of a couples’ combined monthly income, whereas in the least affordable locations, average rent was over 45% couples’ joint monthly pay.
The Olympics Effect – Properties in Sydney, Athens and Beijing witnessed an increase in asking prices while their Olympics were in session but London did the opposite and experienced an uncharacteristic summer lull. Despite a small upturn of 1.5% in late Q3, UK property prices have eluded the typical post-Olympic price increase and have continued to fall in the second half 2012.
Areas of Opportunity – House buyers looking for a bargain in 2013 should look for ‘micro markets’. This means areas where new infrastructure developments might make specific areas more attractive. For example the new HS2 train line is likely to make towns and villages along its banks more desirable for commuters (once it is open in 2018). So bag a bargain now before property prices inevitably rise accordingly. There are also proposed road or rail schemes in place for 2013 in Torquay, Edinburgh, Kent and Cambridgeshire. In London, there is also talk of extending the Northern tube line to Battersea which will likely make neighbouring properties more valuable.
Thanks for reading guys and we hope 2013 does not live up to its ominous number “13” reputation and brings you all the jobs you could want. Check out property prices in your area with our cool market insights tool.