Which areas of England and Wales are the most affordable?

From adopting electric blinds to installing solar panels on our roofs, homes have changed so much over the years. We all wish we could be homeowners, but the cost of living crisis has meant that house prices feel more out of reach now than ever. What difference, if any, does your location make regarding housing affordability?

By gathering data on house prices, insolvency rates, and more, we can reveal which areas of England and Wales are the most and least affordable. Here’s what we found.

With an overall score of 7.72 /10, Ceredigion is the most affordable location across England and Wales

To determine the most affordable locations, we have compiled a range of data, including annual salary, bankruptcy rate, rental prices, and more. Using this data, we have scored each local authority out of ten.

1. Ceredigion - 7.72 /10 

Taking the title as the most affordable location on our list, with an overall score of 7.72 /10, is the Welsh county of Ceredigion. Despite having the lowest annual salary of all the entries in our top three, it appears that the residents here know how to manage their money, evidenced by the 0.8 insolvency rate per 10,000 adults and 13.7 bankruptcy rate per 10,000 adults - both of which are the lowest of our top three in their respective categories.

2. Staffordshire Moorlands - 7.68 /10

The following local authority on our top three is Staffordshire Moorlands, located in the West Midlands. Some factors contributing to this area’s 7.68 /10 affordability score are its high annual average salary of £28,728 and low insolvency rate, totalling 1.1 per 10,000 adults.

3. East Riding of Yorkshire - 7.44 /10 

Completing our top three list of the most affordable locations across England and Wales is East Riding of Yorkshire. Even though this area isn’t featured at the top of our list, it is responsible for the lowest monthly rental price of a one-bedroom flat and the cheapest average house cost per square metre, totalling £400 and £2,098, respectively. 

Kensington and Chelsea has a higher annual salary than any other location, averaging over £73,000 per year

As of 2023, the average annual UK salary is just over £27,500 per year, but how do different areas around England and Wales compare? Here’s what we found.

1.  Kensington and Chelsea - £73,453 annual salary

Kensington and Chelsea may be the smallest borough in London, but what it lacks in area, it certainly makes up for in value, evidenced by its first-place entry on our list. After gaining royal status back in the early 1900s, it may come as no surprise that Kensington and Chelsea is home to some of the country’s most regal architecture, and with this comes some extensive paychecks - as a result, the average annual salary here stands at £73,453.

You won’t find a cheaper place to rent than Blaenau Gwent, averaging just over £300 per month for a one-bed flat

It is no secret that the cost of rent takes up a considerable proportion of our monthly income. With this in mind, we were keen to reveal which areas of England and Wales have the lowest average rental prices.

1. Blaenau Gwent - £303 per month

Located in the South East of Wales, Blaenau Gwent takes the top spot on our list. Aside from its cheap rental prices, this area is known for its walking trails and mountainous views. With an average rental price of just £303 per month for a one-bed flat, you will have more money left to put towards your bills and savings.

Ceredigion and Cambridge have a lower insolvency rate than any other location, totalling less than 1 per 10,000 adults

As the cost of living continues to rise, companies find paying their bills more challenging than ever. Below is a list of areas with the lowest insolvency rate per 10,000 adults.

1. Ceredigion, Cambridge - 0.8 per 10,000 adults

Ceredigion and Cambridge have an insolvency rate of 0.8 per 10,000 adults, the joint-lowest of any location across England and Wales. Despite having the same insolvency rate, these areas could not be more different regarding businesses, with Ceredigion known for its agricultural and hill farming and Cambridge for its manufacturing and research industries.

With a bankruptcy rate of 10 per 10,000 adults, Richmond upon Thames has a lower proportion of bankruptcy than any other location

Being unable to pay back what you owe can often lead to bankruptcy. Because of this, a low bankruptcy rate is an indicator of financial stability. The list below reveals the locations across England and Wales with the lowest bankruptcy rates.

1. Richmond upon Thames - 10 per 10,000 adults

Richmond upon Thames has developed a reputation as one of the most affluent areas in London, and based on its first-place entry on our list, it is not hard to see why. With only ten bankruptcies per 10,000 adults, this London borough has the lowest bankruptcy rate of any location across England and Wales.

Houses in Burnley cost around £1,250 per square metre - the cheapest of any location across England and Wales

Getting on the property ladder is harder today than ever, but which areas of England and Wales offer the cheapest average housing prices? Here’s what we found.

1. Burnley - £1,250 per square metre

With a price tag of £1,250 per square metre, Burnley has the cheapest house price of any area in England and Wales. Even though this town has the smallest median floor space of all the entries in our top three, this is still above the UK average, which means you will still get plenty of floor space for your money.

How many months would you need to save for a house deposit based on your area’s average salary?

The ultimate goal for many is to own a house, but unfortunately, as the cost of living rises, this feels like a dream for most. We should allocate 20% of our monthly income to savings, and using this as a measure, how long would it take to afford a house deposit?

1.   Burnley - 25.3 months

The residents of Burnley might have a less extensive annual salary in England. Still, when the average house deposit is considered, they can save up for a house deposit quicker than any other area in England. If you put aside £449 every month, you can afford the average deposit for a house in Burnley in just over two years.

2.  County Durham - 27.8 months

County Durham is next on our list of the areas in England with the quickest time to save for a house deposit. This ceremonial county has the most expensive average house deposit in our top three, totalling £12,899, but also occupies the most significant annual salary. Because of this, it will only take residents here just under 28 months to save for a house deposit.

 3. Hyndburn - 29.7 months

Completing our top three is Hyndburn, in which it would take you roughly 30 months to save up for a house deposit. Despite having a similar annual salary to many other areas on our list, the housing market in Hyndburn is cheaper on average, with a house deposit averaging just over £12,800.

How many months of rent would it take you to save up for a house deposit?

Renting a property takes up much of a person’s monthly salary. Because of this, we were interested to find out how long it would take to amass enough for a house deposit if the money spent on rent went towards a down payment.

  1. Newcastle upon Tyne - 22.2 months

Based on the average house price in Newcastle upon Tyne, a deposit will set you back around £19,555. This, paired with an average rental price of £880, means that it would take you less than two years of rent to save up enough money for a down payment on your own house.

2.  Bristol - 22.9 months

The average house price in Bristol is just over £340,000, one of the most expensive on our list. Despite this, it will take you just under 23 months of rent to save for a deposit here based on the high average rental price of £1,513.

3.   Burnley - 23.1 months

Completing our top three list is the English town of Burnley. The average rent in Burnley is equally as cheap as its house prices, totalling £492 and £113,731, respectively. Because of this, it would take you just over 23 months of rent to save enough for a down payment on a house here. 

Expert tips on reducing the cost of your bills

Everyone loves a bargain, which is no more apparent than today's society. Whilst we can't cut your bills completely, we have a series of expert tips to help you save on your monthly utility cost.

Utilise blinds to save on your heating bill

As we get into the colder months, it's all too easy to put the heating on every day. Unfortunately, this cost soon adds up, and many of us cannot afford this. Whilst you might not be able to cut out the heating cost altogether, there are things you can do to reduce your bill. Not only do perfect fit blinds look sleek, but their clip-in frame can help to prevent heat from escaping through your windows to keep your rooms warmer for longer, allowing you to reduce the time that your heating is on. 

Negotiate with your provider

Whether you have been with your provider for years or have yet to shop around, it may be the case that you are overpaying for your bills. If you are looking for ways to save money, we recommend you contact your provider to discuss any cheaper deals that may be available.

Adopt energy-efficient appliances

As research and technology continue to advance, more energy-efficient versions of our appliances are entering the market. Swapping out your incandescent lightbulbs for LEDs is one of the most affordable and straightforward switches you can make, but you can find more efficient alternatives for almost every appliance. As well as reducing your bills, energy-efficient appliances are better for the environment - it's a win-win!

Make an effort to reduce your electricity use

It is easy to fall into bad habits, and electricity usage is no exception. Luckily, you can make small changes to your daily routine, saving you money on your electricity bills. Some simple ways to reduce electricity costs include switching off the devices you have on standby mode and only boiling the amount of water you need. 

Are you eligible for lower insurance premiums?

Insurance suppliers will consider many factors before providing you with a quote, but your circumstances may have changed over time. If you have altered your lifestyle or quit smoking since you applied for life insurance, it may be worth revisiting, as you could be eligible for a lower monthly insurance payment. 


We used ONS data to find the mean annual salary for each local authority as of 2021.

We used ONS data to find each local authority's average rental price for a one-bedroom flat.

We used GOV.UK data to find the following data for each local authority: insolvency rate per 10,000 adults and bankruptcy rate per 10,000 adults.

We used GOV.UK data to find the average house price for every local authority as of July 2023.

We used ONS data to find the median floor space for a house in each local authority. 

We divided the average house price by the median floor space of a house to calculate the average cost of a property per square metre for each local authority. 

We used the affordability-related factors (mean annual salary, one-bed monthly rental price, insolvency rate per 10,000 adults, bankruptcy rate per 10,000 adults, average cost of a house) and normalised each factor out of 10 before taking an average of those scores to get our overall 'affordability score'.

By dividing the average house price of each local authority by ten, we calculated the average cost of a house deposit in each area. 

We divided the mean annual salary of each local authority by five to calculate 20% of the yearly wage - this was used as the average monthly savings amount for each local authority. We divided the average cost of a house deposit by the average monthly savings amount to determine how many months it would take to save up for a house deposit in each local authority. 

We used ONS data to find the mean rental price of each local authority in England (data for other UK countries were unavailable). Finally, we divided the average cost of a house deposit by the median average rental price to calculate how many months of rent it would take to save up for a house deposit in each local authority.