Where can you afford to live in the UK – and is it cheaper to rent or buy? Try our calculator to see where in the country suits your finances.
Choose rent or buy, how many rooms you want the property to have and how much you’d like to pay each month. If you’re buying, you also need to enter your deposit, as you won’t get a mortgage without one.
Amount of the United Kingdom that has housing you can afford
Search the UK for more details about a local area
You have a big enough deposit and your monthly payments are high enough.
The prices are based on the local market. If there are 100 properties of the right size in an area and they are placed in price order with the cheapest first, the “low-end” of the market will be the 25th property, “mid-priced” is the 50th and “high-end” will be the 75th.
The map also shows which end of the local market matches your budget – so you might only be able to afford something towards the lower end of the market in Bath but your budget could stretch to property at the higher end of the market in Shropshire, for example.
If you are struggling to find a property you can afford, you may have to increase your deposit. The average deposit for first-time buyers in the UK is £54,770, according to March 2020 data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
First-time buyers in London are looking at an average deposit of around £150,762, almost three times the national average. Whereas, in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, first-time buyers need to find deposits of around £25,000-£30,000.
More about this calculator
The “Where can I afford to live?” calculator uses pricing and rental data for the 12 months up to the end of June 2020 provided by residential property analysts Hometrack. There is not enough recent data available to show figures for Northern Ireland
Monthly mortgage payments are based on the figures calculated by the Bank of England from rates currently being offered by banks and building societies. The rate used is for two year, fixed rate mortgages, so would only be relevant for the first two years of the loan.
Every month, the Bank of England brings out figures for people wanting a mortgage for 75% or 90% or 95% of the value of the property they want to buy. So currently the calculator assumes you need a deposit of at least 5% of the value of the property to get a mortgage.
House prices are based on sales recorded by the Land Registry and Registers of Scotland plus Red Book mortgage valuation – where a surveyor has valued a property for the purpose of mortgage lending.
Is rent cheaper in the next street?
Where does rent hit young people the hardest?
Number of middle-aged renters doubles
Rents are based on monthly prices being asked for by landlords. The average rent in the UK is about £951, according to Homelet.
You may find that the map suggests you can’t afford to live where you are living now – but this might be because the price of property in your area and interest rates have changed since you got your mortgage. If you were trying to get a mortgage to buy your house today, you might need a bigger deposit and larger monthly payments.
If there are fewer than 25 properties matching your criteria in an area, it will come up with “no data”. Figures based on a smaller number of properties would be unreliable.
When using the calculator, your postcode is required so that the BBC can provide you information on housing costs in your area. The BBC is the data controller of the data you enter here. For more information see the BBC Privacy & Cookies Policy.
The calculator was produced by: Dominic Bailey, Prina Shah, James Dooley and Steven Connor