The 5 Most Expensive Places to Live in the UK

As the UK house price yo-yo continues to spark headlines of boom and bust, we take a look at the most expensive cities in the UK.

The average house price in the UK currently stands at £224,926, according to the Lloyds Bank annual Affordable Cities Review. Compare that with the average city dweller’s salary of £32,796 and it’s easy to see why ‘affordability’ is a contentious issue in the housing market.

The Lloyds Bank annual Affordable Cities Review looks at house price ‘affordability’ by comparing the average income for a resident with the average house price in the city. Across the 62 cities coming under the survey’s spotlight house prices are currently almost 6.9 times greater than the average salary, with the gulf continuing to widen.

For the top five towns and cities in this list of the most expensive places to live in the UK, the term ‘affordability’ seems almost inconsequential. However, a tidy lottery win, a considerable legacy from a wealthy relative, or landing a senior position in a FTSE 100 company might see you on the property ladder in one of these pricey postcodes.

5. Brighton & Hove, Sussex

Average house price: £318,363
9.1 times average salary

It has a beach, great shopping, fabulous nightlife, jaw-dropping Regency architecture and a laid-back attitude to life, so it’s no surprise that Brighton & Hove makes the top five. From the famously opulent Royal Pavilion built for King George IV to the the vibrant North Laine shopping and entertainment area, Brighton & Hove’s attributes cover the entire spectrum from historically important to idiosyncratic and quirky.

4. Chichester, West Sussex

Average house price: £304,383
9.19 times average salary

Sitting comfortably in the South Downs, cathedral city Chichester is the model of perfectly preserved Georgian style. With stunning beaches close at hand, excellent schools, fabulous shopping and an abundance of historic sites, it’s not difficult to see why Chichester has become a des-res location with property commanding an exaggerated price tag.

3. Cambridge

Average house price: £359,796
9.76 times average salary

Perhaps best known as a university city, Cambridge exudes history. From King’s College Chapel to the picturesque waters of the River Cam, the city offers world class museums, a thriving theatre scene, and an abundance of green space. As one of the world’s premier seats of learning, Cambridge attracts a diverse population and with it an eclectic range of restaurants, a flourishing nightlife and varied cultural scene.

2. Winchester, Hampshire

Average house price: £444,661
10.11 times average salary

Located a mere hour south-west of London, Winchester effortlessly combines city living with the natural beauty of the surrounding South Downs National Park. Once the ancient seat of power of Alfred the Great, the city is dominated by its 11th Century cathedral, and has an enviable reputation for excellent schools and a buzzing social scene. However it’s the mix of ancient buildings and picture postcard streets which best explains why this city makes the runner-up spot.

1. Oxford

Average house price: £361,469
10.89 times average salary

The honey-coloured buildings, amazing architecture, fascinating museums and art galleries, wonderful cafe society, superb restaurants and diverse shopping are just a few of the reasons Oxford tops the list. The city is home to some of the most famous colleges on the planet – Balliol, Brasenose, Christ Church, Jesus, Magdalen, Oriel, Queen’s, Trinity, and University College, to name a few. Adding to the city’s academic credentials is one of the largest and oldest libraries in the world, the Bodleian, and the impossibly beautiful Hertford Bridge, better known as the ‘Bridge of Sighs’.

Its history, vibrant cultural scene and proximity to the stunning countryside of the Cotswolds ensures Oxford remains the UK’s most expensive city in which to set up home.

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