Cost of a typical family home soars to record seven times average earnings

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Want to move home? Good luck affording one! Cost of a typical family home soars to record seven times average earnings after prices soared during pandemic

  • The average home now costs seven times typical household earnings 
  • House prices grew rapidly during the pandemic, far more quickly than wages
  • Last year saw more first-time buyers than ever before, pushing up prices 
  • House prices have not seen such a sustained increase since before 2008 crash 

Homes in Britain are less affordable than ever before, with house prices seven times the average income.

Property prices shot up during the Covid-19 pandemic, taking the chances of buying a home further out of reach for most families, according to research by Hailfax.

The bank said that although wages have risen by just 2.7%, house prices have risen by 16.8% since the pandemic began.

Halifax said that an average UK home cost £239,281 at the start of 2020, while average earnings were £38,374.

However, by the start of 2022, house prices had shot up to £279,431, with yearly earnings rose only slightly to £39,402.

(Stock Photo) Although homes are getting ever-more expensive, more people are buying them - keeping the cost of property high

(Stock Photo) Although homes are getting ever-more expensive, more people are buying them – keeping the cost of property high 

(Stock Photo) London is the most expensive place to buy a home, even though property prices grew more slowly than anywhere else in the UK between 2020 and 2022

(Stock Photo) London is the most expensive place to buy a home, even though property prices grew more slowly than anywhere else in the UK between 2020 and 2022

This means the ratio of house prices to earnings is now 7.1 – notably higher than early 2020 when it was 6.2

House prices have not seen such a sustained increase since 2007, in the run-up to the collapse of the global housing bubble and financial crisis in 2008.

London remains the most expensive place to buy in the country – despite the capital seeing the slowest growth in property value in the last two years at 5.9% – with an average house price of £534,977. Westminster and the City of London have the most expensive house prices in the country in terms of the gap between average income and cost.

The north east of England is the most affordable place to buy a home, where the average house is £162,692. The research also showed that Pembrokeshire had the biggest drop in affordability in the last two years.

Although homes in the UK are becoming less and less affordable, more people are buying property. The number of first-time buyers last year hit a record 409,370 – an increase of 35% from the previous year.

(Stock Photo) Halifax said house prices were unlikely to keep rising as interest rates continue to increase

(Stock Photo) Halifax said house prices were unlikely to keep rising as interest rates continue to increase 

First-time buyers now have an average age of 32 – three years older than 10 years ago. This is likely to mean that new buyers have more savings and earn more than a decade ago, but indicates that buying a home is less likely than ever before for young people.

The new research published by Halifax said the rise in first-time buyers was largely caused by joint applicants – combining two salaries – and buyers with other income such as getting money from their parents.

The bank said that ‘many buyers continue to make the numbers work for their circumstances.’

Andrew Asaam, Halifax Mortgages director, said: ‘With interest rates on the rise it’s unlikely that house prices will continue to grow at the pace we’ve seen recently.

‘This should see the gap between average earnings and property prices narrowing over time.’

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