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The difference in average house prices and typical earnings across the UK has now widened to its largest point in the last eight years.
Research published by Lloyds Bank has revealed the so-called `affordability gap` is now the worst it has been since the onset of the global economic downturn back in 2008, and is likely to continue to grow in 2016.
According to the body`s latest Home Affordability Index for 2015, the results showed that average UK house prices rose by eight per cent in the last year, while the average level of earnings growth has failed to keep up.
This means that from 2015 to 2016, the ratio of annual salary to home prices has risen from 6.2 to 6.6 times - representing a third annual year of decline in UK home purchase affordability.
Across the country, the data revealed those cities that are now the least affordable for buyers, with Oxford now officially the nation`s most expensive city to buy in.
Oxford buyers are now facing a price to earnings ratio of 10.68, while other high-cost cities in the current financial climate include Winchester at 10.54, Greater London at 10.06 and Cambridge at 9.9.
However, at the other end of the spectrum, the most affordable places to purchase this year were shown to be Londonderry in Northern Ireland at a ratio of 3.81, followed by Stirling in Scotland at 4.11 and Bradford in the Yorkshire and Humber region at 4.31.
Responding to the research and its findings, mortgage products director Andrew Mason stated that house prices have witnessed steep growth in the last three years and this has led to the current situation where buyers in some parts of the country require upwards of ten times their annual earnings in order to buy a home.
Furthermore, Mr Mason added that a distinct north-south divide continues to be witnessed in the affordability of UK housing, with areas of southern England having so far been privy to far stronger price growth than other parts of the UK since the onset of the economic recovery.
This may be good news in terms of the level of affordability that is being seen in many areas outside of the south, but unless wage growth increases to a level that matches property market increases, then potentially in some of the UK there will not be affordable homes for buyers in the very near future.
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