The Cheapest Areas To Buy A House In The UK If You're Single

Many people harbour dreams of owning a flat or entire property of their own, but in the current housing market it can seem like a futile aspiration for all except the richest. Most of us are partnering up with friends, significant others and even strangers to get a leg up on the housing ladder.
However, new research suggests that if you're prepared to buy outside the biggest cities, it is still possible to fulfil your Virginia Woolf A Room Of One's Own dream. Zoopla has ranked the most affordable locations for single buyers in England and Wales based on the price of one-bedroom flats – and there's a good chance you won't have heard of the market town that tops the list.
Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, West Midlands, is the cheapest location for solo buyers, with average monthly mortgage payments equating to just 10.84% of the area's median monthly wage – three times less than the average for England and Wales (35.14%). Only 10% of your wages needed for a place of your own? Its population of just under 130,000 could be about to get a lot larger.
Most of the other affordable areas are found in the north of England, with the seaside borough of North Tyneside ranked as the second most affordable. Single buyers here only need to sacrifice 10.92% of their monthly wage on their mortgage, closely followed by those in Yorkshire’s Bradford (11.79%), Kirklees (12.34%) and Blackpool (12.48%) in Lancashire.
The south of England is home to the least affordable properties for single buyers. It's probably not worth flat-hunting in Cambridge, a popular commuter city with a notorious housing crisis, as a singleton. You'd have to devote more than a third of your wage to the monthly mortgage repayments (36.14%).
Nearby Hertsmere in Hertfordshire isn't much more affordable, with monthly mortgage repayments at 35.85% of the monthly median wage, followed by the more southerly Brighton and Hove (35.56%), Bath and North East Somerset (35.14%) and Slough (33.69%).
In regional terms, the best bet for an affordable property as a solo buyer is the northeast of England, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber and the East Midlands, while the east and southeast of England are pricy. And London is obviously even more expensive, with single buyers needing to be prepared to sacrifice more than half (57.35%) their monthly wage to live alone in the capital.
There is, however, huge variation between the London boroughs, so if you have a high enough salary it may not be completely out of the question to buy alone in the Big Smoke. Single buyers in Bexley would need to allocate 28.99% of their monthly earnings to live there, followed by the similarly 'affordable' Havering (29.52%) and Redbridge (30.73%).
It goes without saying that most single buyers would need to give Kensington and Chelsea a wide berth. A mortgage on a one-bed flat in the royal borough would require most of the average monthly wage (82.44%), and Westminster (82.12%) isn't much cheaper, followed by Hammersmith and Fulham (68.48%).

The top 10 cheapest local authority areas for single buyers

1. Newcastle-under-Lyme
2. North Tyneside
3. Bradford
4. Kirklees
5. Blackpool
6. East Riding of Yorkshire
7. Wakefield
8. Derby
9. Wirral
10. Sandwell

The top 10 most expensive local authority areas for single buyers (outside London)

1. Cambridge
2. Hertsmere
3. Brighton and Hove
4. Bath and North East Somerset
5. Slough
6. Epsom and Ewell
7. Spelthorne
8. Epping Forest
9. Oxford
10. Windsor and Maidenhead
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