Scots towns are among the most affordable

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SCOTLAND boasts four of the ten most affordable towns for key workers, a study has revealed.

An annual investigation into the average earnings to house price ratio for workers such as nurses, teachers, police officers, fire fighters and paramedics has found that six Scottish towns moved from being unaffordable for these groups to affordable in the past 12 months.

The average-priced home in 38 per cent of towns is affordable for the average key worker to purchase, up from 36 per cent in 2012. Affordability has improved considerably since 2008 when homes in just 4 per cent of towns – 17 in total – were judged to be affordable for key workers to buy. Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “A combination of declining or static house prices in many areas, combined with some growth in earnings, has contributed to the improvement in housing affordability since 2008.

“However, significant house-price growth in the past decade as a whole has meant that housing is still unaffordable in more than half of the towns surveyed.”

Wishaw in Lanarkshire is the most affordable town in Scotland with an average house price to earnings ratio of 2.60, followed by Cumnock in Ayrshire at 2.64. Irvine in Ayrshire at 2.65 and Clydebank at 2.71 are the next most affordable.

Bathgate, Dumfries, Glasgow, Helensburgh, Larbert and Peterhead have all become affordable over the past year.