Oxford 'least affordable city for home-buyers'

Oxford is the 'least affordable' city in Britain when it comes to property prices, according to an annual survey by the Open Property Group.

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The survey, based on how prices compared to the average salary locally earned by a single person, found that the university city was even less affordable than a property in the City of Westminster in central London.According to the 2020 report, property prices in cities across England, Scotland and Wales need to fall by an average of 37 per cent (to £125,400) to make owning a home affordable for a single person earning an average wage.For the second year running, the only place rated as affordable for an individual earning an average salary for the locality and with a mortgage of 3.5 times salary, was Durham.Oxford, on the other hand, was found to be the most 'overpriced' city, where prices would need to fall by 70 per cent for an individual to afford, assuming he or she was on an average wage for the area and had money for a 20 per cent deposit.The City of Westminster was hot on Oxford's heels, where a price drop of 69 per cent would be needed, while Cambridge occupied third place on the least affordable and where a drop of 67 per cent would be required.At the other end of England, house prices in Durham could rise by 16 per cent and still be affordable for someone on an average wage with a 20 per cent deposit and a mortgage of 3.5 times salary.Jason Harris-Cohen, managing director of the Open Property Group, said: "In terms of average house prices, I believe that property prices have already fallen five per cent since the Covid-19 outbreak."However we may notice further regional falls depending on micro-economic and social issues, as some geographic areas have experienced greater outbreaks of this virus."For government initiatives, I think that the government should offer a stamp duty holiday to home movers for an initial period."I would like to see government-backed loans for property buyers to encourage lending and create more liquidity in the market. Lenders are going to be risk averse in the short term and, therefore, any reluctance to lend will lead to lower mortgage approvals and ultimately fewer transactions"Top 10 least affordable Cities to buy a house:
1. Oxford
2. City of Westminster
3. Cambridge
4. Brighton and Hove
5. Chichester
6. Bath
7. St Albans
8. Chelmsford
9. Exeter
10. BristolTop 10 most affordable Cities to buy a house:
1. Durham
2. Stoke-on-Trent
3. Hull
4. Sunderland
5. Liverpool
6. Preston
7. Bradford
8. Newcastle upon Tyne
9. Carlisle
10 Derby

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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