House Price-To-Income Ratio: Where Can I Afford To Buy?

Where could you afford to buy your first or next home? If you’re in the market for a new house, a key consideration will be the potential cost in relation to your income – or your 'house price-to-income ratio’. It can also be interesting to know how affordability has increased or decreased in your current or desired area over time.

At Yorkshire Building Society we have analysed more than a decades’ worth of Office of National Statistics and Land Registry data, on local property prices and wages, in order to show these changes and create an affordability map.

Jump to the Affordability Ratio map

What is house price-to-income ratio?

The house price-to-income ratio is an indicator of affordability in an area. It can be used to compare affordability in different time periods and different regions more accurately than just comparing the property prices.

How is house price-to-income ratio calculated?

House price-to-income ratios are calculated by dividing property prices by annual earnings. For example if the average property price was £150,000 and the average salary £25,000 the property price to earnings ratio would be 6.

Work out the affordability ratio for your current or future property using this simple formula: HOUSE PRICE ÷ INCOME = RATIO

If you’re buying with another person combine your salary with theirs to reach the income figure.

What is the average house price-to-income ratio in the UK?

Based on YBS estimates the average house price to earnings ratio for the UK is 8.35 in Q3 2019; edging down from 8.56 a year earlier.

Are house prices going up over time?

The last year has seen house prices become more affordable in nearly nine out of ten local authority areas – but in many parts of the country, it’s still more difficult to buy a home than it was before the credit crunch.

Where can I afford to buy?

YBS analysis from 2019 shows that house prices relative to earnings have become more affordable in 87% of the UK over the past year and buying a house in the UK is 2% more affordable than it was 12 months ago. But buying a home in almost half (49%) of local authority areas is still less affordable than before the financial crash. Many areas are still unaffordable to first-time buyers, with the average price of a home now almost 20 times the average wage in some parts of London.

To find out more about how much a mortgage could cost, try our Mortgage Calculators.

Have a look at our map to see affordability in your current or desired area and how it has changed over time:

2002 Q1
2019 Q3

Affordability ratio

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Least affordable local authority

Most affordable local authority


Sources: HM Land Registry, UK House Price Index September 2019 and Office for National Statistics, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) – resident analysis, April 2018 and Yorkshire Building Society estimate 2019.


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