According to research from Nationwide Building Society, first time buyers face spending at least six times their annual wages to get on the property ladder in nearly half of Britain’s local authority areas.

In 2016, just over a third of local authority areas had average house price-to-earnings ratios of six or more.

However, Copeland in Cumbria is the most affordable local authority for first time buyers in the whole of the North West of England.

This is despite the fact that prices in Copeland have risen 11% in the last year.

The most unaffordable area in the North West is also in Cumbria, South Lakeland. This includes parts of the Lake District, including Ambleside and Windermere.

How does Cumbria compare with the rest of Britain?

The London borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the least affordable place for first time buyers. Meanwhile, East Ayrshire in Scotland remains the most affordable.

Buyers would be looking at paying almost a whopping 15 times their earnings in order to buy a home in Kensington and Chelsea. This is compared with just under two and a half times earnings in East Ayrshire.

The report from Nationwide used official house price and earnings data from 2021.

A recent rise in prices may have outpriced some first time buyers in rural areas. This is likely due to an insurge of people searching for more space during the coronavirus pandemic.

Whitehaven News: Copeland is the cheapest place for first time buyers in the North West (Canva)Copeland is the cheapest place for first time buyers in the North West (Canva)

Least affordable local authority areas

  • London, Kensington and Chelsea
  • South East, Oxford
  • East of England, Hertsmere
  • South West, Cotswold
  • East Midlands, Rutland
  • Yorkshire and the Humber, Ryedale
  • West Midlands, Malvern Hills
  • North West, South Lakeland
  • Wales, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Scotland, City of Edinburgh
  • North East, North Tyneside

Most affordable local authority areas

  • Scotland, East Ayrshire
  • North West, Copeland
  • North East, County Durham
  • Wales, Merthyr Tydfil
  • Yorkshire and the Humber, Barnsley
  • West Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent
  • East Midlands, Bolsover
  • East of England, Great Yarmouth
  • South West, Swindon
  • South East, Southampton
  • London, Bromley