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Tuesday 14th February 2017

What price the 'Unaffordable?'

What’s the most expensive place in the world to buy a house?

Perhaps not surprisingly, Hong Kong came out top with house prices on average 18 times higher than incomes. However that isn’t the full picture. On the basis of affordability, there are some results much closer to home.

By simply comparing the cost of the median house price against the median income in that area, you might be surprised to discover that Devon and in particular, Plymouth are ranked among the most severely unaffordable areas in the UK, coming in at 14th in the global list.

A Housing Affordability Survey conducted by Demographia looked at middle-income housing markets in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China (Hong Kong) and Japan.

The median house price for Plymouth and Devon is currently around £215,000 with a median income of £30,400 which means house prices are roughly seven times the average annual wage in the city. Overall in the UK, the six major markets classed as severely unaffordable along with Plymouth and Devon are Bournemouth and Dorset, the London Exurbs (East and South East England), Bristol/Bath, Liverpool and Merseyside, and Warrington and Cheshire.

Demographia’s executive director Oliver Hartwich says the report shows without doubt that unaffordable housing is more or less a worldwide problem, caused by housing in short supply. Plus, in the South West, we know that wages are low, particularly in the hospitality sector.

Not much comfort to those trying to get on to the housing ladder here in Devon. But re-affirming that, for the lucky ones, a house purchase is a monumental decision that needs the very best professional advice.

Rundlewalker solicitors are always happy to provide a fixed fee quotation for their conveyancing services, plus they know that every first time buyer will need a certain amount of handholding, during what can seem a daunting process.

‘It’s not just the first-time buyers who often need a bit of extra help,’ says Sam Reid of Rundlewalker’s Property Team. ‘Unless you’ve bought and/or sold in recent years, the processes have changed quite substantially with more of the work done online plus more detailed questionnaires to be completed.

‘And with cyber crime now officially Britain’s fastest rising crime, safe financial transactions are ever more important. At Rundlewalker, we take our online security extremely seriously and give all our clients thorough guidelines on how to proceed safely.

‘With these shock figures coming out of the Demographia survey, we can only reiterate that a house purchase is the most important financial transaction you will probably ever make. So why wouldn’t you seek expert help?’

If you are considering a sale or purchase and need advice with your residential conveyancing, please call or email us for advice or for an estimate of charges: Rundlewalker Solicitors on 0800 015 2568. The following specialists are available to advise you:

Sam Reid,
 Solicitor: 01392
Louise Webber, Paralegal: 01392
Joe Clark-Farley, Paralegal: 01392 209202.