First-time buyers should move to Sunderland, study finds

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FIRST-TIME buyers in the South should head north to cities such as Sunderland, property experts have said.

A study has shown Sunderland, Hull and Salford offer the best opportunity for house buyers on average local incomes.

Average property prices in northern cities were just under £160,000, around two-and-a-half times the earnings of average local couples.

Job and property search engine Adzuna.co.uk said a study of house prices and earnings in 50 cities showed that Winchester in Hampshire was the least affordable, while Belfast and Hull were the most affordable.

Over nine out of 10 houses in Belfast were said to be within financial reach of first-time buyers on average local incomes, compared with just one in four in London, Reading and Guildford.

Houses in London have become less affordable over the past year, both for buying and renting, according to the report.

A typical house in Winchester now sells for eight times local average incomes at around £440,000, said Adzuna.

Houses in northern and Scottish cities continue to be more affordable than those in the South, cementing a clear North/South divide, said the report.