Here's how much you need to earn to buy a house in the biggest cities in the UK

Funny joke: it's probably more than you earn

Here's how much you need to earn to buy a house in the biggest cities in the UK
Getty ImagesPaper Boat Creative

Another day, another set of depressing statistics to remind us all that owning our own home is pretty much just a pipe dream - especially if you're a city-dweller.

According to property analysts , who released their latest UK Cities House Price Index yesterday, the average income you'll need if you want to buy a house in any of the 20 biggest cities in the UK is £53,000. That's a big ask, standing at almost double the average UK salary (which was worked out to be ).

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But when you break it down to see exactly how much you'd need to earn in each city to purchase the average-priced property there, the prospect of buying your own home feels even more unattainable. The absolute lowest income you could earn in order to afford to buy in a major city is £24,731 - and that's in Liverpool. In London, that figure jumps to £84,250. Yeah, it's tough out there.


Here's how much income you'd require as a first-time buyer to get a 30-year mortgage on the average-priced property in the UK's 20 biggest cities, from least to most expensive:

20. Liverpool

Annual income required: £24,731

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £120,100

19. Glasgow

Annual income required: £25,607

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £124,400

18. Newcastle

Annual income required: £27,015

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £129,700

17. Belfast

Annual income required: £27,222

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £131,500

16. Sheffield

Annual income required: £28,530

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £137,100

15. Nottingham

Annual income required: £31,904

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £153,400

14. Birmingham

Annual income required: £33,619

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £163,100

13. Aberdeen

Annual income required: £34,262

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Current average house price (Aug 2018): £164,800

12. Leeds

Annual income required: £34,583

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £166,100

11. Manchester

Annual income required: £34,770

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £168,300

10. Leicester

Annual income required: £36,317

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £174,100

9. Cardiff

Annual income required: £43,043

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £206,700

8. Southampton

Annual income required: £47,871

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £228,400

7. Edinburgh

Annual income required: £48,277

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £231,000

6. Portsmouth

Annual income required: £50,202

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £238,500

5. Bristol

Annual income required: £58,826

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £282,500

4. Bournemouth

Annual income required: £61,311

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £287,900

3. Oxford

Annual income required: £69,750

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £423,400

2. Cambridge

Annual income required: £74,000

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £431,600

1. London

Annual income required: £84,250

Current average house price (Aug 2018): £485,300


Those figures are big, and that's without even considering the issue of saving for a deposit. Earning the above annual salary in each city would mean you would be eligible to get a big enough mortgage in theory, but without a deposit, you won't be able to get a mortgage in the first place.

Here's how much you need to earn to buy a house in the biggest cities in the UK
Haha one day
Getty ImagesStewart Cohen

The other issue is, even the cities that are currently most affordable are experiencing a spike in house prices. According to , house prices in Liverpool's city centre have grown by 7.5% in the last year. Glasgow isn't far behind, with a 7.2% rise, and Nottingham, Manchester and Leicester have all seen a notable increase in house prices with 6.9%, 6.8%, and 6.7% growth respectively. The only cities on the list to have seen a slight decline in house prices over the past 12 months, in fact, are London (0.3% drop), Cambridge (0.1% drop) and Aberdeen (3.7% drop).

House prices are continuing to rise faster than earnings in most of the cities, meaning the purchase of a property is becoming increasingly out of reach for many people. Until our salaries start rising in line with the cost of houses (or we buy with someone else), it looks like we'll be stuck in the joyous renting cycle.

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