Where are the most affordable places to live in the UK? While it’s pretty clear that living close to some of the bigger cities is likely to drive up the cost of living, some of the house prices available post-COVID might just surprise you.
If you’re looking for the cheapest place to live in the UK, I’ve put together a quick guide to help break down some up to date figures to help you along. Ultimately, there are various things that can affect house pricing and cost of living – and this data may change – but right now, the following places offer low housing costs for families and professionals.
Top 5 Cheapest Places to Live in the UK
If you don’t have the time right now to take a look at the cheapest places to live in across the UK, here’s a quick summary.
- Durham : Average house prices starting at £100,000
- Middlesbrough: Average house prices starting at £110,000
- Barnsley: Average house prices starting at £130,000
- Hartlepool: Average house prices starting at £120,000
- Aberdeen: Average house prices starting at £140,000
What’s it Like to Live in these Affordable Places?
Let’s take a look at each of the top five and what you can expect from housing costs – as well as what living in the most affordable cities and towns across the UK is actually like.
Average House Cost: £100,000+
Average Salary: £26,000 – £32,000
County Durham is an amazingly diverse place when it comes to history and heritage, and the best news is, it’s largely the cheapest place to live in the whole of the UK.
Durham is extremely well connected to many cities in the north, meaning if you’re looking to start working out in Newcastle or York, you’re only a few minutes away down the motorway and across the rail network. What’s more, if you’re keen to get out somewhere that’s naturally beautifully with lots of different walks, Durham is going to be a perfect pick for you.
Durham is also a university area, meaning that it’s a fantastic place to develop in if you’re just getting started in your career. Some sources suggest that the cost of living may be half of that which you’d expect in London – why not look north before you look south?
North Yorkshire / Teesside
Average House Cost: £110,000+
Average Salary: £26,000 – £32,000
Teesside and North Yorks are certainly growing in popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. Middlesbrough is one of the cheapest places to live in across the county, with house prices being particularly low compared to elsewhere in the region.
Living in Middlesbrough is likely more interesting than you imagine! This is an amazingly cultural area, and as it’s a university town, it’s likely to continue growing for many years to come. The average salary zone in Middlesbrough tends to be quite broad, though £26k as a starting point really shouldn’t be sniffed at.
Replete with plenty of cultural festivals and heritage trails, Middlesbrough is certainly one of the most interesting of the cheaper places to live in the UK. It’s amazingly well positioned with links to York, Manchester and Sheffield. Therefore, anyone looking to work and develop in Yorkshire will likely want to come and take a closer look.
Average House Cost: £130,000+
Average Salary: £27,000 – £35,000
Barnsley has seen something of a big rejuvenation over the past few years, with big changes to its central town markets having created a wealth of interest in the area. The former pit town is overseeing lots of development and, year on year, it’s one of the biggest growers in the region.
That means it’s all the more interesting for people looking to work, live and thrive up in the north of England, and the fact that house prices are still relatively low here – around £130,000 at starting point – means now really is a great time to invest. Barnsley is replete with villages and residential zones close by, and you’ll find it really easy to link to cities such as Sheffield and Leeds less than an hour away on the train.
Barnsley is fast growing beyond people’s expectations, and the fact it’s so cheap for families, couples and professionals is only a good thing. Start looking around now by taking a look at the website, the visitors’ board, and latest house prices.
Average House Cost: £120,000+
Average Salary: £24,000 – £30,000
Back up to County Durham, Hartlepool is only growing more and more as a popular place to live in the north of England, and that’s largely thanks to its beautiful coastline. This is absolutely one of the best places to live in both for affordability and sea views.
Hartlepool has been in the news in recent times thanks to a historic local election, but it’s the wage and house pricing up here you are going to want to pay more attention to. Hartlepool’s housing is amazingly affordable despite the area’s desirable walks and sights, and what’s more, the average wages are growing.
This is a town with a lot of maritime history, making it fascinating for many people who may already be looking to grow and develop in the region. It benefits from Durham’s many links across the north of England, too, meaning you’re never too far out of the big cities.
Average House Cost: £140,000+
Average Salary: £35,000 – £39,000
While Aberdeen is the third-biggest city in Scotland, it is amazingly affordable to live in the area, with growth opportunities that often compete well with Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow to the south. Glasgow itself is increasingly affordable to live in, but Aberdeen absolutely takes the crown as far as Scottish affordability is concerned.
Relatively low house price averages across the Granite City coupled with amazingly progressive salaries means that your cost of living here is going to be less than you’d imagine. Certainly, if you are struggling to make ends meet in cities further south, it might just be worth packing up and going north of the border.
Aberdeen itself is a lovely city that offers a keen balance between museum and theatre sights and sounds, along with wonderful heritage walks and medieval buildings. It’s absolutely worth researching if you are keen to make a move but want to avoid extortionate costs of living.
So – where is the cheapest place to live in the UK? These figures are always likely to change, meaning it’s well worth keeping close tabs on low cost of living up and down the country.
The most affordable cities and towns to live in may be due to change around by mid-decade, as there’s significant growth in towns such as Barnsley and Hartlepool, and many people chose to leave London due to pricing at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Therefore, do make sure to use this guide to the most affordable cities and towns as a launchpad. I highly recommend doing a bit more digging if you’re serious about moving somewhere where you can develop while saving money along the way.