IT HAS been revealed that the average Southampton house costs more than seven times the annual wage in the city.

Southampton ranks as one of the most expensive places to buy a home along with other southern cities including Portsmouth and Bournemouth.

However, according to Zoopla, housing in these cities is becoming more affordable.

This is because house price growth has dropped below growth in average earnings since 2016.

The city on the Solent has one of the highest house prices to earnings ratios in July 2019.

Southampton recorded an annual house price growth of 0.8% with the average current house price at £228,500.

This is 7.5 times the average annual earnings of £30,500.

In Portsmouth the average house price of £238,200 is 7.9 times the average annual earnings of £30,400.

A spokesperson for the Southampton Property Association (SPA), Chris Clark, said: "I don’t believe houses are any more or less affordable than they were in 2016. There are lots of other factors to take into account such as mortgage interest rates, lending multipliers, energy costs, rates and general outgoings. In truth, if you are earning the average income of £30,500, then the purchasing options are very limited, particularly given the need to raise a sizeable deposit. Similarly, lenders remain cautious. House prices along the south coast remain steady, neither falling nor rising to any significant degree. Some property sells quickly, but some others don’t and it’s not always obvious why one has sold and another hasn’t. The property market tends to be cyclical."

The SPA organises property networking events and was established to ensure good practices among Southampton estate agents.

Research and insight director at Zoopla, Richard Donnell, said: “There has been a clear downward trend in the ratio of house prices to average earnings over the last 2 years. However, the scale of improvement is relatively modest. While welcome news, the gap between earnings and prices needs to close further to make a material difference to would-be purchasers. Lower-priced cities in northern England are getting less affordable than their southern counterparts when you consider that the annual percentage growth in house prices is outstripping earnings growth.”

Zoopla publishes information including house prices, area trends and statistics and current value estimates for domestic properties in the UK.