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Barking and Dagenham shows England’s sharpest decline in home affordability over last decade

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The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham has seen the most significant decline in homeownership affordability over the last decade in England, a new study has found.

Moving platform Getamover.co.uk analysed data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the ratio of median house prices to median annual earnings in each English local authority between 2013 and 2023. Data was gathered on the local authorities with the highest increase in house price-to-earnings ratio over the last decade to reveal the spots where homeownership affordability has fallen the most.

England’s average house price has risen by £103,000 over the last decade, with the average annual wage also rising by £7,734. House prices rose at a faster rate than earnings, with the ratio increasing by 21.73%, meaning the average home costs over eight times the average yearly earnings. While London remains the most unaffordable region to buy a home with a ratio of 11.95, the East Midlands has seen the largest decline in homeownership affordability over the decade with the house price to income ratio rising by 35.58% to 7.43. The North East is the only region of England where wages have increased at a faster rate than house prices. The average cost of a home has risen by £33,000 while annual wages have risen by £7,087, making it more affordable to buy a home in 2023 than 2013.

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham topped the study as the area with the most significant decline in homeownership affordability across England. House prices more than doubled compared to income with the ratio soaring by 100.73%, the highest increase in the study. While the average price for an existing dwelling rose by £202,500 in the area, the median annual earnings only increased by £2,182.

Hillingdon in West London took the second spot among the areas in England with the largest decline in homeownership affordability. Over the last decade, the average house price in the region shot up by £230,000 to £495,000. Meanwhile, the median annual income of residents has only increased by just £143. The ratio of house prices to earnings has risen by 85.98% during this time.

Waltham Forest is the third London borough to feature in the study of the top English areas where homeownership is becoming increasingly unaffordable. Since 2013, the average house prices to income ratio has soared by 70.76%, securing it third place in the ranking. Despite house prices more than doubling to £520,000 over the last decade, the median annual earnings of residents have gone up by £6,194.

Outside the capital, Oadby and Wigston is the area where homeownership affordability has decreased the most, ranking fifth in the overall study. The house-to-price-to-income ratio has risen by 67.90% over the last decade, with the average house price increasing by £129,000 and the median annual income growing by £2,644.