HAMPSHIRE cities are the least affordable in the whole country amid surging house prices, a report had found.

The research by Lloyds Bank found nationally the price of a home in a large town or city has grown by 5 per cent over the last year to reach £184,215 on average or 5.8 times someone's average earning.

But when it ranked cities in order of affordability, Winchester was found to be the second most costly city to live in.

Data shows that people living there are facing a property price tag which is more than 9.7 times the local wage.

Only Oxford was more unaffordable with house price-to-earning ratio of 11.

Southampton was found to be the 10 th most unaffordable city to live in, with a ratio of 7.15.

Stirling in Scotland and Londonderry in Northern Ireland were named as the UK's most affordable cities to live in, with house prices in those areas typically costing 3.3 times and 3.6 times local earnings respectively.

The UK's most affordable cities are clustered in Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England, with Glasgow, Belfast, Lisburn, Bradford, Lancaster and Salford all featuring among the most affordable urban areas to live.

Truro, Bath and Brighton made up the top five list of ''least affordable'' places to live, while Westminster in central London came in seventh place. Although property prices in Westminster are among the highest in the UK, relatively high earnings in the heart of London stopped Westminster from coming higher on the list.

York was the only northern city to make the line-up of the UK's least affordable cities, at number 20. A home in York costs nearly six times average wages, while one in nearby cities like Hull and Sheffield would set someone back just over four and-a-half times their earnings.

Pundits have said mortgage borrowers should start thinking now about how they will cope when the Bank of England base rate eventually starts to climb back up again. The bank rate has been at a historic low for five years, helping to keep mortgage payments relatively affordable.

Marc Page, Lloyds Bank mortgages director, said: ''The economic and lifestyle benefits often associated with residing in cities are continuing to drive demand, especially in the south of England.

“With city house prices continuing to rise, affordability deteriorated slightly last year, but the trend since 2009 is positive for the majority of UK cities.''

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: “We're determined to ensure anyone who works hard and wants to get on the property ladder has the help they need to do so wherever they live, which is why we've introduced schemes like Help to Buy, which enable people to buy with a fraction of the deposit they would normally need.

''Since 2010, we've been helping over 110,000 people become homeowners through our schemes, and our efforts to cut the record deficit we inherited has helped keep interest rates at a record low, and home ownership is now at its most affordable since 2007.

''Leading developers have said they'll build more as a direct result of this increased demand, on top of the 420,000 new homes we've delivered since 2010.''