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Northern Ireland 'most affordable region in the UK to buy a house'

Northern Ireland 'most affordable region in the UK to buy a house'

Northern Ireland is the region of the UK where it is most affordable to buy a house, official data suggests.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compared average household disposable incomes to average house prices in 2022.

It found that in Northern Ireland, the average house cost 5.1 times average annual incomes.

In Scotland the ratio was 5.3, in Wales it was 6.4 and in England it was 8.4.

At the peak of Northern Ireland's housing bubble in 2008 it was the least affordable regional housing market, but since 2012 has usually been the most affordable.

In 2008, the incomes to house price ratio in Northern Ireland was 9.29, falling to 4.46 in 2013.

The ONS research also found that in 2022 in England, only households in the top 10% of income could afford an average home with fewer than five years of income.

In comparison it was the top 30% in Wales, and the top 40% in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

England also showed the widest distribution of affordability across income groups.

In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland households in the top 10% of incomes could afford an average house with about three years of earnings, while those in the lowest 10% would need between 10 and 12 years of income.

In England it was four years for the top 10%, but more than 19 years for the bottom 10%.

 Source: John Campbell - BBC News NI