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Most Expensive & Cheapest Areas to Live in the UK

The North South divide is never more clear than when you start looking at affordability of the areas to live in England. Despite every county of course having its pockets of extreme wealth and areas with lower incomes, even when putting London to one side, the South in general has all the top ten areas of expense, and the North has the most affordable areas. These conclusions are drawn from housing and property prices, the cost of living (ie. groceries, eating out) and salaries. So if you’re thinking about moving and trying to find the best area for what you’re looking for, whether it’s getting the best out of your money or for the reputation of the area.

Most Expensive


You can’t list the most expensive areas of England without mentioning London. London is, in itself, known for having ridiculously high costs of living. In areas such as Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea, the average property prices are known to soar into the tens of millions and six out of ten of the most expensive streets in England are listed as being here. In fact, the UK’s capital holds claim to 19 out of 20 of the UK’s dearest streets. Over the past year, house prices have risen on average by 5.5%, however the average cost for property prices in London has increased by a shocking 12%. Having the highest concentration of people in the UK, and with property in such high demand, it’s not a surprising figure, but can be overwhelming to people from outside the capital when visiting as the cost of groceries and wares is often much higher than the rest of the country.


Surrey is one of the most expensive areas to live in England that’s outside of London. Being within a good travelling distance of London, the county is in high demand among people who want to be able to work in the capital but not live within the confines of the city itself. Known as the top London suburb, house prices are on average in excess of £1 million, and of the top ten suburbs to live in, 5 areas in Surrey come out on top. Surrey as a county is extremely desirable with excellent transport links for not only the capital but also the rest of the UK and the world with proximity to several stations and airports, as well as being a highly wooded area with a number of small photogenic villages, and an exceptionally low crime rate. Due to its desirability, it’s popular with high earning families who are willing to pay extra for the cost of living for a popular and safe area.


Outside of London, Oxford has been revealed to be the least affordable city to live in in terms of property pricing. In relation to the average salaries of the area, homes in Oxford offer a price tag on average of more than 11 times more than the local wage. The average cost for a property in the city renowned for its famous historic university is nearly £341,000 as compared to the national average of £184,215. According to statistics, the high cost of living in Oxford is due to the increasing numbers of people using the city as a commuter city to London and the costs of a highly renowned and affluent university. Oxford is in fact still increasing in living costs, for example, the average house price in the city a year ago was 9.8 times the average salary.



In general, the North of the UK is known for having more affordable house prices and living costs. Bradford in West Yorkshire at the foothill of the Pennines is known as being the cheapest area to live in England. Based on the ratio of average salary to house prices, with the average cost of property in England being 5.6 times gross annual earnings, Bradford comes in with prices being 3.98 times the average wage. As with many northern industrial towns, the cost of living is relatively low, with prices of groceries and accommodation being particularly affordable.


Stirling has recently been named as the most affordable city to live in in the whole of the UK. Surprisingly, the cost of urban living outside of the nation’s capital has recently become more affordable despite the surge in house prices elsewhere. Stirling is Scotland’s second newest city, earning city status as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations for the Queen in 2002, and on average, properties there cost a particularly low £132,734, only 3.3 times the amount that people in the area earn as an average. It is among several cities in the UK that have been named as the most affordable that are clustered in Scotland and the North.


Kingston-upon-Hull, or Hull as it is known for short, is another of the nation’s cities based in Yorkshire that is one of the cheapest places in the UK to live. Situated on the coast of East Yorkshire, it has recently been named as the UK City of Culture for 2017, having had a huge amount of regeneration and improvement in poorer urban areas and has a rich history in a maritime past. Despite all this, the housing prices of Hull are still lower than much of the country on average. For example, there are a number of three bedroomed houses available from prices starting at only £49,950 and £250,000 will buy you a large, detached house with a reasonably sized garden.

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