Homes in Southampton now cost 7.5 times the average annual earnings of people in the city, according to figures from Zoopla.
Whilst London remains by far the most expensive place to buy a home in terms of salary-to-house price ratio, cities on the South Coast such as Bournemouth, Portsmouth, and Southampton continue to experience unaffordable increases.
House prices in Southampton have seen a year-on-year increase of 0.8% since July 2018, which means that the average home in the Solent city now costs £228,500. The city’s average annual income for a single earner currently sits at £30,500, meaning that it would cost an average Southampton resident more than seven years’ wages to get onto the property ladder.
While this makes grim reading for Southampton residents, a Portsmouth local would have to work an eye-watering eight years to be able to afford an average home, while a Bournemouth home is ten times the salary of a prospective buyer.
In more positive news, the gap between average house price and average income is showing a slight closing in most Southern cities, with a spokesman for the Southampton Property Association Chris Clark acknowledging:
I don’t believe houses are any more or less affordable than they were in 2016. There are lots of other factors to take into account such as mortgage interest rates, lending multipliers, energy costs, rates and general outgoings.
Despite this, Zoopla have said that houses remain largely unaffordable for a majority of prospective buyers in the South, saying, ‘[t]he gap between earnings and prices needs to close further in order to make a material difference to would be purchasers‘.
According to 2019 findings from Which?, Southampton is the UK’s second best place to retire in the UK after Plymouth, due to its, ‘amenities including 202 cafes and pubs, 29 parks and churches and 34 cinemas‘. Factors included in the methodology include golf courses, bingo halls, and sports clubs, and the desirability of Southampton as a city in which to retire could be contributing towards its unaffordable house prices.