Burnley is the only affordable place to live in England according to a new study which has revealed that, in every other local authority in the country, the cost of an average mortgage is more than five times the annual earnings of a low-income worker.
The study, carried out by the National Housing Federation, reflects the fact that - from 2002 to 2016 - the average house price in the UK rose by 120% while wages rose only by 38%, meaning more people are being priced out of the property market.
In every local authority in England other than Burnley, the average mortgage for a home in the area is over five times the relatively low-income wage of £18,500 per year earned by the likes of carers, teaching assistants, post officers, and nursery nurses.
“This analysis makes for truly depressing reading,” said David Orr, Chief Executive of the NHF. “Low-income workers are left with fewer affordable options than ever, even though their jobs are absolutely critical to local economies.
“It is these people who are keeping our communities going,” Mr Orr added.
Across the UK, houses are - on average - 12 times higher than the wages of low-income workers, with issues at their worst in London and the South East, where rent frequently costs more than 50% of the annual wage of a low-income worker.
Nowhere in the country is it possible for low-income workers to spend less than 30% of their annual wages on rent, while, according to the Office for National Statistics, those looking to buy face average house prices of £235,000 in England - a 6.5% increase on last year’s figures.
With an average house price of £73,000, the Burnley local authority is the cheapest in the UK, and is almost 18 times cheaper than the most expensive areas of Chelsea and Kensington in central London, where the average house price is £1.3 million.