Do you live in the UK’s least affordable city?

Average house price increases mean properties in UK cities are now at their least affordable levels for a decade, according to a study by one of the country’s largest banks.

The Lloyds Bank Affordable Cities Review found housing costs equated to seven times typical annual earnings last year – with a clear North-South divide remaining despite more sluggish price growth in the south.

It said the overall figure was the highest house price-to-income ratio since 2007, when the average city home cost seven and-a-half times the average earnings.

The report was released in the wake of a tough year for would-be buyers. A shortage of homes on the market helped prop up prices at a time when the rate of inflation was outpacing sluggish wage growth – further damaging affordability despite interest rates being at a record low for the vast majority of 2017.

Lloyds said the average city home cost around 5.6 times the average wage in 2012, but the price surged by 36% over the past five years amid high demand.

Over the same period, the study said, average city earnings had risen by 9% £33,420 a year.

Six cities were found to have house prices commanding at least 10 times the average earnings of residents.

They were Oxford – judged the least affordable at 11.5 times average earnings – Cambridge, London, Brighton and Hove, Bath and Winchester.

The Shard is pictured from a helicopter on June 13, 2015 in London, England

Image: London is among the least affordable cities

Stirling was the most affordable for the fifth year running at around four times annual earnings.

Andy Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said: “City living suits the lifestyles of many people looking for shorter commutes with much of what they need on their doorstep, but buying a city property is the least affordable it’s been for a decade.”

The top 20 most affordable cities, according to Lloyds Bank, with the average house price-to-earnings ratio:

:: 1 Stirling, Scotland, 4

:: 2 Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 4.1

:: 3 Bradford, Yorkshire and the Humber, 4.5

:: 4 Lancaster, North West, 4.8

:: 5 Durham, North East, 5

=6 Belfast, Northern Ireland, 5.1

=6 Sunderland, North East, 5.1

=6 Lisburn, Northern Ireland, 5.1

=9 Dundee, Scotland, 5.4

=9 Swansea, Wales, 5.4

=9 Perth, Scotland, 5.4

=12 Salford, North West, 5.5

=12 Hereford, West Midlands, 5.5

=12 Liverpool, North West, 5.5

=12 Carlisle, North West, 5.5

=12 Glasgow, Scotland, 5.5

=12 Hull, Yorkshire and the Humber, 5.5

=18 Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North East, 5.7

=18 Preston, North West, 5.7

:: 20 Inverness, Scotland, 5.8

The 20 least affordable UK cities according to Lloyds Bank:

:: 1 Oxford, South East, 11.5

:: 2 Cambridge, East Anglia, 10.5

:: 3 London, 10.2

=3 Brighton and Hove, South East, 10.2

:: 5 Bath, South West, 10.1

:: 6 Winchester, South East, 10

=7 Truro, South West, 9.3

=7 Exeter, South West, 9.3

=9 Southampton, South East, 8.9

=9 Canterbury, South East, 8.9

=11 Bristol, South West, 8.8

=11 Salisbury, South West, 8.8

=13 St Albans, South East, 8.7

=13 Chichester, South East, 8.7

:: 15 Norwich, East Anglia, 8.3

:: 16 Leicester, East Midlands, 8.1

:: 17 York, Yorkshire and the Humber, 8

:: 18 Gloucester, South West, 7.7

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:: 19 Portsmouth, South East, 7.5

:: 20 Chelmsford, South East, 7.3