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Updated: 11 Jul 2019

Research reveals the cheapest areas to live for mortgage borrowers

Proportion of income spent on mortgage ranges from 19-45% by area

The average UK homeowner spends less than a third of their monthly income on mortgage repayments, according to new research.

Data from Halifax reveals that mortgages in the UK are at their most affordable level in over a decade, with homeowners spending 29% of their disposable income on mortgage payments.

Here, we assess the data at regional and local authority level and reveal how much people in your area are spending on their home loans.

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Cheapest mortgages in a decade

A new study from Halifax shows that mortgages are considerably more affordable than they were a decade ago, when homeowners were putting an average of 48% of their income towards repayments.

The bank says this improvement in affordability is predominantly down to historically low mortgage rates in the wake of the financial crash.

And despite the first base rate increase in a decade last November, affordability still improved marginally year-on-year in the last quarter of 2017.

Mortgage payments: region by region

At regional level, there are significant differences between the most and least affordable areas of the UK.

The biggest change in the last decade has come in Northern Ireland, where mortgage payments now make up just 18.8% of monthly income, compared to 63.1% a decade ago.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, London (44.8%) and the South East (40.2%) were the areas where homeowners were most stretched in the final quarter of 2017.

In the chart below, you can use the drop-down menu to compare mortgage affordability from region to region over the last year, the last decade, and the average change from 1983-2017.

Local variations in mortgage affordability

At local authority level, the differences in mortgage affordability from area to area are even more stark.

People living in Copeland in the North West of England spend the lowest proportion of their monthly income on mortgage payments at 14.9%.

At the other end of the scale, homeowners in Brent in North London spend more than 60% of their income repaying their home loans.

Most affordable local authorities

Local authority districtRegionMortgage payments as % of income (Q4 2017)
CopelandNorth West14.9%
North AyrshireScotland15.9%
West DumbartonshireScotland16.2%

Most unaffordable local authorities

Local authority districtRegionMortgage payments as % of income (Q4 2017)
ElmbridgeSouth East56.3%

How much do people spend on mortgages in your town?

The table below includes all of the local authorities in the UK. Simply type the name of your local authority into the search box to see the average for where you live.

How to get the best mortgage deal

The proportion of your income that you spend on mortgage repayments will vary depending on the deals available to you - and it can be hard working out the cheapest option.

Even if you've currently got a mortgage, there might be a better deal out there for you - especially if you've come to the end of your fixed term and have been transferred on to your lender's standard variable rate.

With that in mind, it can be beneficial to get advice from an impartial, whole-of-market mortgage broker, who can assess your individual circumstances to find the right deal for you.