An Affordable Cities Review released today by Lloyds TSB names Salford as the most affordable city in the UK.
According to the review, the average property price in Salford is £102,391, standing at 3.81 times average earnings in the city. This compares to a UK average house price of £173,202.
Truro is the least affordable city in the UK, with property prices averaging £250,489, ten times average earnings. Salford, the review notes, has experienced a 32% fall in house prices since 2008, compared to a UK average 18% fall.
The collapse, unsurprisingly, is put down to hard to acquire mortgages, hard to raise deposits and the gloomy economic scenario. Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, also notes "a distinct North-South divide to the locations of the most affordable UK cities".
However, a glimpse behind Salford's average house price also shows a massive divide within the city, with areas like Salford Quays and Worsley way above the UK average.
A new Affordable Housing Assessment published last month by Salford City Council, shows the average Salford house price at £107,241, based on 2010 figures, but clearly shows the split in the city in terms of wealth.
Worsley came out top of the league for expensive houses, with an average price of £209,140, followed by Salford Quays (£178,528) and South Swinton (£172,732). The cheapest house prices in Salford were to be found in Charlestown at £48,085, followed by Brindle Heath (£60,542), Lower Kersal (£61,529) and Langworthy (£62,972).
The high prices at the Quays and Worsley, hopelessly skewed the average, with thirteen areas of the city above the average £107,241 price and twenty areas below it.
According to the Lloyds TSB review, the average price of a Salford house has now fallen even lower to £102,391. The economist at Lloyds presents the information as good news, as "an improvement in affordability". But it doesn't really make any difference if everyone's skint anyway, with few jobs around and the cost of living rocketing…
See also Salford Star article - Salford's Economic Gloom - click here