Amanda has worked in estate agency in the Southeast of England in both residential and commercial property sales.
The True North-South Divide
For us Brits, the ramifications of Brexit and the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic have had an interesting effect on the nation's property market. During the run-up to the EU referendum, former Chancellor George Osborne advised voters that a "leave" result would put a serious dent in UK house prices. Despite these dire predictions, continuing pressure on the housing market prevented any dramatic falls in key areas.
The gentle slide in some rural areas and areas of high unemployment was hardly noticed. However, despite the economic damage caused by various lockdowns, the UK property market has raced ahead in recent months.
Stamp duty land tax has long been a thorn in the side of house buyers in the South-East and other property hotspots. House prices in these areas are eye-wateringly high, and stamp duty makes it even harder to get onto the property ladder. In other parts of the UK, however, it is perfectly possible to buy a good-sized family home without ever having to pay a penny to the government.
For those whose jobs are more mobile, there is a whole wealth of property readily available in cheaper areas of the UK. Below are 15 places you might wish to consider in your search for an affordable three-bedroom house. Each is discussed in detail in the sections that follow. All prices given were found on the Rightmove website and are current as of January 2022.
The 15 Most Affordable Places in the UK to Buy a 3-Bedroom House
- Grimsby, Lincolnshire
- Stanley, County Durham
- Rhondda, Glamorgan
- Leeds, West Yorkshire
- Belfast and Antrim
- Sheffield, South Yorkshire
- Swansea, South Wales
Only Interested in Properties in Specific Counties?
If you are reading this article secretly hoping to find property in a specific location in the UK, you may prefer to look at county-by-county house price reviews. At present, these include Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Derbyshire, Devon, Essex, Hampshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, South Yorkshire, Sussex, Suffolk and Surrey.
Grimsby is a major seaport on England's East coast, lying on the South Bank of the Humber Estuary close to where it meets the North Sea.
The Grimsby-Cleethorpes conurbation provides the cultural and industrial focus for a large area of northern and eastern Lincolnshire. Despite its glum-sounding name, Grimsby is a busy, vibrant town with a lively pub and club scene, a comprehensive shopping centre and excellent transport links, including a small airport.
However, the loss of the major part of its fishing industry in the 1990s and early noughties left a massive legacy of unemployment which effectively depressed property prices in the town. Although job prospects are better than they were, it is still perfectly possible to buy a small, three-bedroom house in Grimsby from around £65,000, with some DIY projects and tenanted buy-to-let properties coming in at a little less.
2. Stanley, County Durham
Stanley is a former coal-mining town in County Durham. One of the worst pit disasters in British history took place in Stanley in February 1909 when over 160 people were killed in a local coal mine.
There has been some serious investment in the town in recent times, including improved leisure facilities, a new swimming pool, and a solar-powered bus interchange. More improvements are planned, and Stanley already has a well-regarded performance venue, the Lamplight Arts Centre, which hosts events as diverse as boxing matches, comedy shows, and music gigs. The town has a good sprinkling of supermarkets, and there is a twice-weekly market held on Thursdays and Saturdays.
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With the closure of the coal pits and the loss of other major employers in the area, Stanley has been on hard times economically for much of the last twenty years, and local house prices reflect this. A basic three-bedroom terraced house can be bought here from around £80,000.
3. Rhondda, Glamorgan
In the Welsh Rhondda Valley, an area of outstanding charm and natural beauty, a three-bedroom terraced home can be purchased for as little as £65,000 through a traditional estate agency route (or for quite a lot less through property auction). A search on Rightmove revealed several houses in Tonypandy, Maerdy and Ferndale for around that figure, and there were a number of others, all advertised as being in good order, in the £65,000 to £75,000 price range.
Some of the locations listed in this price bracket are Treherbert, Maesteg and Port Talbot. This region has shown a steady rise in prices over the seven years since I first compiled this list, although it still represents exceptional value compared to other parts of the UK. Interestingly, the prices in this region have scarcely been impacted by the recent stamp duty holiday.
The Rhondda Valley was once famed for its many coal mines, however, the closure of local pits in the 1990s left a legacy of high unemployment. The plethora of low-priced homes for sale in this region is a reflection of the pain that these communities continue to feel. Served by the Taff Vale railway line, Tonypandy is the principal town of the Rhondda Valley and has the greatest employment opportunities.
Lively Liverpool, with all its musical and artistic heritage, birthplace of The Beatles and Cilla Black, has a generous supply of reasonably-priced three-bedroom terraced houses. The lowest-priced examples I came across in this area were being offered at a little under £80,000, and there were a number of attractive, basic properties available in the Liverpool, Netherton and Bootle areas in the £80,000 to £90,000 price bracket. Shared ownership schemes seem to be popular in this region, and many reasonably priced brand-new homes come to the market offering 25% to 75% shared ownership.
In recent years, Liverpool has been transformed by an ambitious and far-reaching regeneration programme, and it is now considered to be one of Britain's leading centres for culture and business. Although the generous supply of cheap housing seems to tell a different story, it may just be that the house prices are only temporarily lagging behind the bigger picture.
Certainly, here as in other areas I've investigated, there has been a significant rise in house prices at the lower end of the scale, as buy-to-letters seek out fresh territories, and first-time-buyer schemes help more people onto the property ladder.
Stoke-on-Trent is well known for the numerous potteries that grew up in and around the town from the 17th century onwards. Wedgwood, Minton and Royal Doulton are among the more famous china manufacturers from this area, and the potteries, together with abundant local supplies of coal and iron, ensured the prosperity of the region for several centuries.
More recently, however, with pit closures and the loss of numerous factories and steelworks, there has been a sharp rise in unemployment. Nowadays, local tourism opportunities are beginning to be exploited, and both the china works and the canal system draw their fair share of visitors to the region each year.
A three-bedroom terraced house in the Potteries area (in towns such as Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-Under-Lyme) can be bought for as little as £70,000 to £75,000. These lower-end homes are often either in need of refurbishment or else buy-to-let properties with a renter already in situ.
A basic, untenanted semi-detached home in good order sells from around £100,000. Prices in this region have climbed steeply in recent years but still represent excellent value for money.
6. Leeds, West Yorkshire
According to a recent census, the West Yorkshire city of Leeds is the third-largest metropolitan area by population in the UK. One of the biggest success stories of the Industrial Revolution, Leeds was once a vast, thriving network of wool and linen mills. Now, Leeds continues to enjoy a reputation as the cultural, financial and commercial heart of West Yorkshire.
My search revealed readily available properties in the £105,000 to £135,000 price bracket. The low-end prices are a little higher in nearby Wakefield and Pontefract, but all show listings for comfortable, habitable properties at around £120,000. A few miles away in Bradford, however, prices are considerably lower, and there are bargains to be had in the £75,000 to £85,000 price bracket.
My search on Rightmove in January 2022 turned up numerous three-bedroom properties priced at or below £95,000 in and around Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Three-bedroom houses priced at between £95,000 and £105,000 are plentiful in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne area of Tyne & Wear, particularly in Fenham, West Denton, Throckley and Lemington.
Smart, modern semi-detached houses can be bought in this region from around £125,000. At the other end of the scale, in more favoured areas such as Fenham and Westerhope, spacious, attractive, detached and semi-detached homes are freely available at well under £400,000.
The port developed in the 16th century and—along with the shipyards lower down the River Tyne—became one of the world's largest shipbuilding and ship-repairing centres. These industries have since gone into decline, and today, Newcastle-upon-Tyne is largely a business and cultural centre with a lively nightlife and excellent shopping facilities.
8. Antrim and Belfast
Famous for being home to the shipyard that built the Titanic, beautiful Belfast has seen more than its fair share of problems over the years. The continuing sectarian conflict that has divided communities in this city is in sharp contrast, however, to the warm welcome that visitors receive here.
Belfast has a vibrant and thriving city centre with great leisure facilities, historic sites to visit, fabulous shopping streets and excellent transport links. Comfortable three-bedroom homes in this lively, heritage city are available from as little as £70,000 to £90,000 (prices checked on Ulster Property Sales website in January 2022).
Historic Kingston-Upon-Hull, better known as plain “Hull,” has poetic and theatrical links as well as a fascinating maritime past. Recent investment in urban regeneration has brought about much improvement in poorer areas in and around the city, but the property prices remain some of the UK's lowest.
I found a number of three-bedroom, terraced houses advertised for sale priced at around £70,000 or less, all within a 10-mile radius of Hull's city centre. Homes in the £75,000 to £85,000 price range are also readily available. If you have a little more to spend, £260,000 will buy you a spacious detached house with good-sized gardens in one of the better areas.
10. Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Industrious Sheffield, famous for its cutlers and surrounded by some of Britain's most ruggedly beautiful countryside, is a city that has seen tough times in recent years. Like many of the areas listed in this article, Sheffield has seen employment prospects wax and wane, but it still remains a vibrant university city, with many galleries and museums to browse and great sporting and leisure facilities.
Three-bedroom, terraced houses can be bought for as little as £85,000, and there are many available in the £75,000 to £85,000 price bracket both in nearby Barnsley and Mexborough and in the surrounding towns and villages, especially in neighbouring Derbyshire. There are affordable properties in many South Yorkshire towns.
Birmingham, in the West Midlands county of England, is the UK's second most populous city after London. Once at the forefront of the industrial revolution, Birmingham remains a major international commercial centre. It is home to no less than three universities and is also the site of Britain's National Exhibition Centre.
Three-bedroom houses in the Birmingham districts of Handsworth, Great Barr and Erdington begin at around £140,000. During the first half of 2021, prices escalated by up to 40% in the cheaper parts of Birmingham. In January 2022 we are already seeing price reductions reversing many of these hasty increases.
12. Swansea, South Wales
Swansea and Port Talbot can trace their roots back to the Stone Age. Romans and Vikings settled here, and the people of these towns have been seafarers, ship-builders, merchants and coal-miners.
Situated on the edge of the beautiful Gower Peninsula, this part of Wales has much to admire, not least its property prices. Three-bedroom terraced homes can be bought here for as little as £110,000.
House prices in Scotland vary greatly from area to area, and prices in some of the big cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow are just as high—if not higher—than their southern equivalents.
Dumfries, however, has a range of budget-priced homes available, and as of January 2022, RightMove listed several three-bedroom houses with guide prices (offering prices) from a little less than £80,000 for sale in this area.
Almost uniquely amongst the towns within reasonable commuting distance of London, Peterborough actually has three-bedroom houses for sale from as little as £150,000 as of January 2022. Yes; it's true—the cathedral city of Peterborough in lovely Cambridgeshire is less than one hour away from London's King's Cross station by rail, and yet has somehow escaped the worst effects of the London ripple effect.
Peterborough is a modern city which has grown up around a historic centre. The city has all the facilities you would expect in a large urban area, as well as attractive countryside close at hand.
Chatham isn't quite the cheapest place to buy a house in Kent, but it's not too far off it. Incredibly for the South East, Chatham has quite a number of three-bedroom houses available to buy from around £230,000 as of January 2022.
Historic Chatham, famous for its dockyards, is on an easy train route into central London, making it an ideal location for commuters. If you are stuck in London and are desperate to improve your accommodation in a more affordable location, then Chatham might be the place you are looking for.
A few short years ago, three-bedroom houses in Chatham started at around £110,000. Prices have climbed steeply and quickly in Chatham and the surrounding areas and are set to escalate with the completion of ongoing regeneration projects.
Historically, Chatham has been cheap for good reason, however, the older areas are now seeing some serious gentrification, and the once-despised Victorian terraces are attracting a new generation of keen developers.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: I am looking for a low-cost area for my family coming from Jamaica, which place will be more suitable for me?
Answer: Only you can know what you are looking for in an area. Large cities such as Birmingham, Leeds, Derby, Hull, and Sheffield are perhaps more likely to have jobs and be rich in cultural diversity than the Welsh valleys. The large urban areas in the North are cheaper than the towns and cities in the South of England, but even in the South prices can vary wildly from town to town. Research areas on Rightmove and Zoopla alongside job searches on Indeed and other job sites to see where the best opportunities are for you.
Question: I am interested in getting to know more about Peterborough to buy a three bedroom property there in 2019. Do you have any tips?
Answer: I would recommend visiting the town and driving around to see which areas best suit your needs. Consider schools, transport links, proximity to healthcare, and crime statistics. All of the information is available online, but you can't beat seeing the area with your own eyes, and getting a feel for the neighborhood. There is always a reason why one area is more affordable than another. Often this has to do with employment opportunities, but many other factors can affect house prices, and it pays to do your research. What one person finds acceptable, or even desirable, might present a problem to someone else.
Question: Where I am, the price for housing is way too high. The closest place to Milton Keynes mentioned in your article is Peterborough. Can I get more info about this town?
Answer: I would recommend visiting the town and driving around to see if the area suit your needs. Think about the things you might need such as good transport links, access to healthcare,schools and leisure facilities, and always remember to check the crime statistics. Everything you need to know is available online, but it's a good idea to visit in person, and get a feel for the neighborhood. Have a look on Rightmove and Zoopla to see what properties are available in your price range, and note down the names of streets and areas that seem promising.
Question: If we absolutely have to move back to GB after the Brexit debacle where can we buy near Chichester for £100.000?
Answer: Sussex is a long way from being the UK's cheapest county for property, and Chichester is a very desirable location with many expensive homes within its boundaries. You might find the property prices further round the coast in Hampshire slightly more affordable. Towns such as Portsmouth, Gosport, and Southampton are cheaper than similarly sized Sussex towns. However, if forecasts are to be believed, prices are likely to plummet post-Brexit. It's all a waiting game. No-one knows for sure what the outcome will eventually be.
Question: Which location offers the best buy to rent annual yield?
Answer: My interest is in house prices and how they vary from area to area. I have never researched this topic from a buy-to-let perspective.
From a purely logical viewpoint, I would anticipate that University cities and towns are always going to be good areas to invest in property-wise, and there are universities in most of the large urban areas. It is always best to do your own research but locations such as Sheffield, Derby, Manchester, Newcastle-on-Tyne might be a good place to start.
© 2011 Amanda Severn
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 08, 2015:
Thanks Olivia, that's great advice! Good luck with your house purchase!
Olivia Sanzzi from San Antonio on July 03, 2015:
I am an American who lived in London for a year, and in my opinion, your article is fascinating and exceptional. I am in the process of buying a house, and though the challenges at times feels unsurmountable, I now realize that it is nothing compared to the process for you in the UK. I thought that the issues were only true for London zones 1-4, but now I see that it is a far broader, farther-sweeping issue. Well good luck with all challenges you face, and please keep blogging even on days you do not feel like writing at all. Your posts are great.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on April 28, 2015:
Hi Rising Start, the reason the responses have such a range is that the original article was written in 2011, and I have updated it annually, and more recently, every six months, in order to keep it current. After all, no one wants to know about 2011 prices, when they're actually hoping to buy this year!
rising star1 on April 26, 2015:
First time reading a hub page
What I'm confused about Amanda is that some of the responses range from 2months which is fine to 2years ago ?
Yet the article is for 2015 ?
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 23, 2015:
Thanks for stopping by and commenting Maggs224.
maggs224 from Sunny Spain on February 21, 2015:
I have not lived in the UK for ten years so I was surprised that there are still homes for sale at such low prices. An interesting hub with some very interesting comments and answers too. I am glad that that your title hooked my interest. I am voting up and hitting the relevant buttons on my way out :D
Jacobb9205 on February 15, 2015:
Amanda Severn, No problem, thank you for replying! :) Yes that's true
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 15, 2015:
Thanks for stopping by and commenting Jacob9205. It's always worth checking out the towns around where you want to live. There can be huge variation even within a single county.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 15, 2015:
Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Jacobb9205 on February 14, 2015:
Very interesting! When I buy my own home I will check out these places, thank you! :)
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on February 13, 2015:
Interesting ! :) Even though I live in the U.S. it is interesting to learn about different real Estate. Thank you for sharing ! :)
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on December 29, 2014:
How amazing to be able to buy your perfect home for such a small amount! Here in the South-East property prices have reached ridiculous levels. Young couples hoping to get a foothold on the property ladder can do little more than dream in places like Brighton. Good luck in your new home - I hope you'll be very happy there!
Chantele Cross-Jones from Cardiff on December 29, 2014:
great round up! Love that some south wales places got in there too!! I live in Neath (between Swansea and Port Talbot) and we just bought a stunning 2 bed semi with a huge Garden for £128,000. We moved from Cardiff because £128,000 would barely get you a tiny 1 bed flat there! House prices really are getting silly all over the UK. My parents have an amazing 4 bed detached house they bought 30 years ago and it cost less than £60,000, now its worth closer to £225,000
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on September 15, 2014:
Thanks for stopping by and commenting Louise. The range of prices over comparatively short distances is genuinely astounding. Good luck in your new home. I hope it goes well for you.
Louise0711 on September 15, 2014:
Very interesting. Just buying a 3 bedroom terraced house in Bromsgrove (between Worcester and Birmingham). We moved from London as it was impossible for us to buy there and you get so much more space for your money out of the captial.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on September 11, 2014:
Thanks for your comment Hezekiah. Property prices vary widely across the UK, but I have concentrated on the cheapest examples here. However, if you are searching in central London, or in other property hotspots such as Brighton, you might find prices that compete with Japan!
Hezekiah from Japan on September 09, 2014:
Thank for the article. I was born in the UK and moved to Japan and bought property here. So expensive compared to the size and price of the UK.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 14, 2014:
Hi Poppy, I guess my dozen turned into a baker's dozen! I intend to add two more over the next day or so, and then I will change the title number to 15. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, and yes, it took a ton of research!
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on July 13, 2014:
Great article. I bet it took a lot of research and hard work. Not that it really matters, but in your title you've said 12 of the cheapest places, but in the article you included 13 :) keep up the great work.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on April 15, 2013:
Hi Appsthatpayyou. London is even worse than Sussex! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on April 15, 2013:
Hi DaffodilSky, I originally wrote this article three years ago, and the prices were around £10,000 lower at the very bottom end. That kind of inflation tells me that either the buy-to-letters have moved in to the market in huge numbers, or else people are waking up to the fact that it is better to buy than to rent in such cheap areas. Sadly I suspect that it's the former rather than the latter. The added problem with the rampant house price inflation in these areas is that it is added in to the national statistics, and creates a false overall picture. Here in the south-east prices are stagnant at best, but in most cases actively falling. The government needs to re-think it's policies big time or they risk a ticking time-bomb where the amount of people with rent subsidies can only grow as people retire.
Helen Lush from Cardiff, Wales, UK on April 11, 2013:
Hi Amanda - interesting hub. I live in Cardiff not far from the Rhondda in South Wales. Houses there are very cheap but some clever people are buying there because it is within commuter distance of Cardiff, which as our capital, is not cheap! The Rhondda area is extremely beautiful but still recovering from the loss of it's coal mining industry - this is all very topical at the moment with all the talk around the legacy of our ex PM Margaret Thatcher. I do take issue with molometer's comment about the North being grim - I'm from the north east of England originally and much of it is stunningly beautiful! I'm going on a bit now so I'll stop !:)
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 30, 2012:
Hi Barb, I'm glad you enjoyed the opening ceremony. It was totally bonkers, but very moving at the same time. I also enjoyed Kenneth Branagh, and I loved hearing Mike Oldfield too. I once saw him perform live at Knebworth in the early 1980s and I'm glad to see he's still going strong!
You mention the ferris wheel, and I think you must mean the London Eye which stands on the banks of the River Thames, quite close to the Tate Modern Art Gallery. It's been there for a few years now, and it's a very, very big wheel which offers excellent views all over London.
Barbara from Stepping past clutter on July 28, 2012:
Amanda, after watching the men cycle past lovely villages and into London this morning (sorry your Brits did not win) I may wish to buy a home in England, lol. It was so so beautiful.
And I loved the Opening Ceremony. Geek as I am, my favorite part was the Tempest Recitation by Kenneth Branagh. Though there were numerous highlights and I found the entire experience very deep and meaningful. McCartney choking up... what a rare occasion it was.
What is the story on that ferris wheel? The one that I keep seeing on television- is this the one in Belfast? It's capsules are very futuristic.
SO glad the ceremonies went off without a glitch. I am reading a book called "My Sister is on the Mantle" that was shortlisted for your Carnegie Medal. It is most provocative and tells a sad story, that I hope was one day long ago, not to be repeated. Ever. Anywhere. Hugs.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 26, 2012:
Hi Monicamelendez, thank you for stopping by and commenting. I'm not a fan of stamp duty either. It has effectively put a stranglehold on housing mobility here in the South-East of England.
monicamelendez from Salt Lake City on July 26, 2012:
Wow I'm not a fan of the Stamp Duty Land Tax...I had no idea that this tax existed in the UK.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 17, 2012:
Thank you for stopping by and commenting Didge.
Didge from Southern England on July 17, 2012:
Wonderful hub Amanda Severn and a good addition to Hubpages! Thanks for sharing!
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on May 08, 2012:
Hi Plussizepixie, this was originally written a year ago, and there were certainly properties in that price bracket then. I recently updated this to reflect current prices. I thought I'd double checked all of these, but I obviously missed that one! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Cheers, Amanda
plussizepixie on May 08, 2012:
Hia Amanda I live in Barnsley & have a number of BTL properties here. I would love to know where the under £45,000 3 bed properties can be found as I can't find any!
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on October 11, 2011:
You're right Molometer. There are plenty of empty houses on the market, but if they are too pricey for people, then new homes will be too. I have lots of ideas about how to cure the housing shortage, and most of them revolve around restoring MIRAS for first time buyers, and enforcing rent caps to discourage amateur buy-to-letters thus reducing the burden on local councils who often have to pay extraordinary and extortionate rents for social housing out of the public purse.
I would also like to see second home owners actively discouraged so that hotspots such as Devon and Cornwall see lower prices, thus allowing local people the opportunity to buy homes in their own villages.
Micheal from United Kingdom on October 10, 2011:
Hi Amanda, sorry about the delay in getting back to you but for some reason my notifications are off.(my fault)
I am in a very desirable part of Cambridgeshire just north of Cambridge in one of the small villages.
Very chocolate box and thatched cottages, very picturesque. (average price half a million,detached}
House prices here and in the surrounding areas are tumbling (for smaller 2/3 bed houses)and it's those that are not selling.
First time buyers are completely priced out in this area anyway and the owners are not unwilling to drop their prices either so consequently nothing is moving at all. Eventually of course it will implode if the redundancies continue as they are at the moment. It's a mess and no mistake and now the government are talking about building loads of new houses. That was the final nail in the coffin that is the housing market! With over 1 million empty houses on the market already we just don't need any more?
Great hub by the way.
I referenced your hub in https://discover.hubpages.com/politics/Housing-mar...
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on September 29, 2011:
Hi Molometer, I wrote this in July, and, although the property market continues to be very 'sticky' here in Sussex, we're not seeing the huge falls that need to happen to bring prices in line with earnings. I see from your profile that you are in Cambridgeshire, which is possibly a little less pricey overall than here on the coast. Is property getting cheaper where you live?
Micheal from United Kingdom on September 28, 2011:
Amanda you are being very polite, be honest nobody wants to move up North because it's so grim up there. I like your article and it is true you can but an absolute Mansion in Norfolk for 200k but it will be in the middle of nowhere and take hours to get to. 3 L's as you say dominate. Great hub well done. When did you write this as prices are plummeting still now in September 2011?
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 31, 2011:
Hi Bob, it's good to see you here, as always. It is incredible, as you say, that our house prices continue to remain high here in the South. Partly it's caused by supply and demand, but stamp duty is definitely a factor. People who would like to move up the ladder are holding back because of the high rate of stamp duty being levied on ordinary family homes. I know this for a fact because it's the exact position I am in! To make a jump to a property just £10k dearer we would have to fork out £8,400 to the government for the privelege! This situation has increased the stickiness of the market. Fewer people are moving, and this is affecting the pool of available properties.
diogenes from UK and Mexico on July 28, 2011:
Hi Amanda: I nipped over to see how you were doing, for some reason, I am not being notified of your hubs Mmmm. I used to watch that bargain property auction program a couple of years back, and the cheap houses and flats were mostly well run down or tiny. Property in desirable places in the UK are still hugely inflated and will remain so while there are still lots of people waiting to buy them. We are unique in Britain, I think, for being permanently hovering around recession yet with our house prices in the South still rising! Our immigration I guess. Hope you are well in sunny (Ha) Brighton Bob
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 16, 2011:
Hi attemptedhumour, I just looked up Stourbridge on Rightmove, and 3 bedroomed homes start around £90,000 in Stourbridge itself. National Statistics On-line quotes a figure of approx £28,000 p.a. as average earnings for a UK male. Working on this figure, Stourbridge is not too far away from the three and a half times ratio that you mention in your comment. In Brighton (a little along the coast from me) the cheapest three bedroomed houses start at around £180,000, and they are few and far between at the low-end of the price range. I guess my gripe is not about the cost of the housing (although that's painful enough). It's more about the fact that Stamp Duty is levied according to price rather than according to accomodation.
It's good to see you here again BTW!
attemptedhumour from Australia on July 14, 2011:
Hi Amanda, having come from sunny Stourbridge in England's West Midlands i am surprised to hear that houses can be bought at such a low price. I presume that there is a low demand, or low employment prospects to service the loan needed to purchase these. House prices in Melbourne have risen sharply in recent years and are getting out of reach for first home buyers. The average price for a three bedroom house in our suburb would be about eight hundred thousand dollars sixteen times more than the average annual income. Perhaps you could research these statics for your area and see how they compare. In the sixties house prices were about three and a half times the average yearly wage. So forget about emigrating, unless you have won the pools first. Cheers
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 14, 2011:
Hi Les Trois Chenes
Limousin does sound very tempting, escpecially as I love the French countryside. We're not all as brave as you, however! As to the cheaper regions of the UK, I would sooner live in the Derby dales or the beautiful valleys of Wales than in many of the property hotspots here in the South. For couples who are in jobs that are paid on national wage scales such as teaching and medicine, a life in one of these more affordable areas would have a lot to recommend it. For young couples starting out here in the South, the future must seem quite bleak. In my area the cheapest one bedroom flats start at around £100,000.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 14, 2011:
Hi Sophia, maybe it's different in the States, but here some whole regions of the country (including beautiful homes in lovely middle class areas) are genuinely much cheaper than others. When I was researching this hub, my daughter and I oohed and aahed over some fabulous houses in the North of England which would cost no more than the price of our 3-bed terraced house here in the South. We don't wish to move North because our family and work are here in the South, but if we were in a different position it might be very tempting!
Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on July 12, 2011:
I don't know Stoke on Trent, but of all the other places mentioned here the only one I'd consider is Newcastle.
On the other hand, why don't you think of moving to Limousin (SW France)? For your little house you could buy a lovely home in town or country with gardens, land etc etc. Nice neighbours, no crime, no traffic, low insurance, no graffiti, no drugs, gorgeous countryside, clean air, fresh food, grow your own veg, keep chickens .... or live in the city near opera, theatre, cinemas etc I could go on but will spare you ... PS sunshine, food and wine. Tempting?
Sophia Angelique on July 12, 2011:
Amanda, in fairness, I think we all know that cheap houses are available. The issue is not that there aren't cheap homes. The issue is that the places where the cheap homes are are a nightmare to live in.
And the places where there is no crime, and where facilities are acceptable to an ordinary middle class standard are priced to cripple one for life. In other words, it's almost a form of neo-feudalism emerging.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 12, 2011:
Hi Spirit Whisperer,
As I just explained to Sophia, my hub isn't just intended to highlight the availability of cheap houses, so much as cheap areas. There is a large estate near to where I live which is considered less desirable than the part of town that I live in. I could have bought a cheaper property there, but chose not to for all the reasons that you mention. However, I would still have paid at least £230,000. The south-east is expensive whether you live in a good area or a not-so-good area, and in all the regions I mention above, the dearest properties are generally still much, much cheaper than a comparable house in Sussex, Surrey or Hampshire.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 12, 2011:
You're absolutely right about the weather. The South coast certainly enjoys a warmer climate than say Scotland, or the far North of England. I don't think the weather is the only reason for the difference in house prices however. Proximity to London has a major influence on property prices. The small town I live in is on a direct train route into central London, and is consequently slightly more expensive and sought after than some other small towns on the coastal stretch.
Of course some of the houses I'm talking about in this hub are in areas of social deprivation or low employment. That's often what makes them so cheap. The point is, however, that in those same areas there will be more expensive houses in pleasant, leafy lanes, with large gardens, garages and out-buildings, that will still cost only a fraction of what it costs to buy a small terraced house here in the south-east. So far as community goes, I'm sure poorer communities can be just as harmonious and pleasing to live in as richer ones. Often more so.
Thanks for stopping by Sophia. It's good to catch up with you again!
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 12, 2011:
Hi Paradise7, I'm sure there are some amazing property bargains to be picked up in America right now. It's all about location, location, location. The USA has the benefit of having plenty of space, so once you get out of the cities, even quite average homes can be sizeable. That's not so true in our over-crowded corner of the world!
Xavier Nathan from Isle of Man on July 12, 2011:
Would you live in a three bedroom house worth £30,000 in the areas listed above? Anyone can find cheap housing anywhere in the world but don't you get what you pay for? I think Sophie Angelique makes a fair point too in that would you like your children growing up in some of these areas?
I have lived in an area with cheap housing when we first started out and I am sorry we did. It was false economy and I am so glad I was able to create the means to get out when we did. I now live in Peel, on the west coast of the Isle of Man about 3 mins walk from the beach in an old 4 bedroom Victorian house that we bought for £180,000 about 8 years ago and I feel so lucky.
My advice to young couples starting out is to not compromise on your dream to live in the house and location that would be the most conducive for your physical, emotional and spiritual well being.
Sophia Angelique on July 11, 2011:
Hi Amanda. Long time no speak. The problem is that the south east of England has warmer weather. The other problem is people and resources. If the home is really inexpensive, does one have neighbors that one might not like to have? And would the area have resources like libraries, ballroom dancing, and other things of personal interest.
Paradise7 from Upstate New York on July 11, 2011:
Maybe I'll move to England. Houses in perfectly decent areas seem to be a lot more afordable than here.