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Housing affordability? It's UN-affordability that is the problem...

Forget the popular term ‘housing affordability’ - the latest government figures suggest the real issue may be housing un-affordability.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that on average working people could expect to pay around 7.6 times their annual earnings on purchasing a home in England and Wales in 2016, up from 3.6 times earnings in 1997.

The median price paid for residential property in England and Wales increased by 259 per cent between 1997 and 2016 while median individual annual earnings increased by only 68 per cent in the same time period.

The most affordable local authority in 2016 - the latest information available - was Copeland in the north of England with house prices being on average 2.8 times greater than annual earnings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kensington and Chelsea in central London was the least affordable with house prices being 38.5 times greater than annual earnings.

The gap between the least affordable and most affordable parts of England and Wales has increased markedly over the last two decades, says the ONS; housing affordability has worsened in every single local authority district.

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