Revealed: The cheapest local authorities for first time buyers - and the least

Analysis by Nationwide Building Society has shown first-time buyers face spending at least six times their annual wages to get on the property ladder in nearly half (45%) of Britain’s local authority areas.

The average house price-to-earnings ratio has jumped 10% in just over 5 years with many across Scotland facing paying up to six times their gross income in order to get on the property ladder.

The study looked at the average earnings of those living in local authorties against the price of property.

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The average earning was found using ONS data while the average house price study from the Nationwide data was sources using the UK House Price Index.

First-time buyers face spending at least six times their annual wages to get on the property ladder in nearly half (45%) of Britain’s local authority areas as affordability becomes more stretched.

The study found the average gross earnings in the City of Edinburgh was just over £41,000 but that first time buyers would face buying properties with an average price of £240,000, meaning those would be likely to pay at least six times over their annual earnings.

Indeed the top three most expensive areas for first-time buyers were based in Edinburgh and the Lothians with the City of Edinburgh followed by East Lothian and Midlothian.

According to the data, purchasing a house in East Lothian would cost around 5 and a half times the gross annual earnings for the area, with homes costing on average £199,000 and Midlothian homes costing £174,000 on average against salaries of around £35,000 for both areas.

East Ayrshire however had an average price of £83,255 against a salary on average of £35,298 meaning that the average house price-to-earnings ratio was 2.4.

Andrew Harvey, Nationwide’s Senior Economist, said: “Edinburgh has consistently been the least affordable location in Scotland since the start of our series in 2014.

"This reflects that average house prices there are significantly higher than in other parts of Scotland.

"Housing demand in the Scottish capital remains strong, while supply has struggled to keep pace.

"Average first time buyer house prices are around £240,000, which is nearly three times higher than those in East Ayrshire, the cheapest location in Scotland, and around 75 per cent above those in Glasgow. House price to earnings ratios in Glasgow and the surrounding areas remain well below those in Edinburgh and the wider Lothian region.”

He added: “East Ayrshire continues to be the most affordable authority in Great Britain, with average first time buyer house prices just 2.4 times average earnings.”

“East Ayrshire covers a large geographic area to the south of Glasgow, but its main towns are Kilmarnock and Cumnock.”

Across the UK, the average first-time buyer house price-to-earnings ratio has declined from 4.6 to 3.4.

The race for more living space during the coronavirus pandemic as people relocated may have priced some first-time buyers out of the market in more rural areas.

Here is a list of the cheapest local authorities based on the average First Time house price-to-earnings ratio using the UK House Price Index.

East Ayrshire – £83,255

North Ayrshire – £91,096

Inverclyde - £92,517

North Lanarkshire £100,800

West Dunbartonshire – £106,152

Eilean Siar £110,530

South Lanarkshire - £113,223

Clackmannanshire - £111,295

Renfrewshire – £114,246

South Ayrshire – £114,936

Falkirk – £117,048

Dundee City - £117,315

Fife - £119,912

Aberdeen City – £120,859

Angus – £122,437

Dumfries and Galloway – £121,441

Argyll and Bute – £121,739

Moray – £135,316

Scottish Borders – £137,843

City of Glasgow - £138,294

Orkney Islands - £146,454

Highland – £146,974

West Lothian – £146,817

Aberdeenshire – £147,334

Perth and Kinross – £156,469

Stirling - £161,070

Shetland Islands - £162,618

East Dunbartonshire – £172,950

Midlothian – £174,638

East Renfrewshire – £184,558

East Lothian – £199,669

City of Edinburgh – £240,504