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Most affordable places to buy a property in Britain 2021

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The most affordable towns and cities in Britain to buy a property have been revealed.

They are clustered around Scotland and the North West, with the quaint town of Shildon in County Durham topping the list by property website Zoopla.

Meanwhile, a separate list of towns which have seen the biggest increase in affordability in the last 12 months includes the picturesque town of Cleator Moor in Cumbria, Malvern, Worcestershire and Bideford, North Devon.

The most affordable places to buy a home in Britain, based on house price to earnings ratios, using two-earner households on average salaries for the local area

The most affordable places to buy a home in Britain, based on house price to earnings ratios, using two-earner households on average salaries for the local area

In the most affordable area: This two-bed terrace in Redworth Road, Shildon, is for sale for u00A355,000 via estate agents Luxe Homes

In the most affordable area: This two-bed terrace in Redworth Road, Shildon, is for sale for £55,000 via estate agents Luxe Homes

Zoopla based its calculations on house price to earnings ratios, using two-earner households on average salaries for the local area.

The average property price in Shildon is £59,468 and the price to earnings ratio is 1.1.

Ferryhill, also in County Durham, ranks in seventh place with a median house price of £72,264 and a price to earnings ratio of 1.35. 

Zoopla said its lower house prices and the dominance of terraced housing was driving affordability in the area.

THE MOST AFFORDABLE TOWNS AND CITIES IN BRITAIN TO BUY A PROPERTY
Rank Postal town Local Authority Region Gross annual household earnings Median house prices Price to earnings ratio Annual home mover mortgage repayment (£)* Mortgage payment as % of annual home movers household income*
1 Shildon Durham (County) North East £53,446 £59,468 1.11 £2,006 5%
2 Cleator Moor Copeland North West £82,924 £96,269 1.16 £3,247 5%
3 Kilbirnie North Ayrshire Scotland £62,338 £76,303 1.22 £2,573 6%
4 Cumnock East Ayrshire Scotland £61,859 £77,414 1.25 £2,611 6%
5 Egremont Copeland North West £82,924 £80,694 1.29 £3,601 6%
6 Stevenston North Ayrshire Scotland £62,338 £106,771 1.29 £2,721 6%
7 Ferryhill Durham (County) North East £53,446 £72,264 1.35 £2,437 6%
8 Ferndale Rhondda Cynon Taf Wales £55,297 £77,421 1.4 £2,611 6%
9 Irvine North Ayrshire Scotland £62,338 £87,478 1.4 £2,950 6%
10 Girvan South Ayrshire Scotland £63,102 £88,587 1.4 £2,988 6%
Source: Zoopla               

In Scotland, towns in historic Ayrshire dominate with Kilbirnie and Cumnock ranking in third and fourth place respectively, and Stevenston, Irvine and Girvan all featuring in the top 10. 

Zoopla said that Scotland’s affordability is linked to two key factors, which are strong earnings locally and more reasonably priced property, with average house prices in all of these towns below £65,000.

Buyers in Cleator Moor and Egremont in Cumbria also benefit from high levels of affordability, according to Zoopla.

This three-bed terrace house in Mill Street, Torrington, is for sale for u00A3180,000 via estate agentsu00A0Bond Oxborough Phillips

This three-bed terrace house in Mill Street, Torrington, is for sale for £180,000 via estate agents Bond Oxborough Phillips

Cleator Moor is located on the 190-mile Coast to Coast Walk that spans Northern England, while Egremont is at the edge of the Lake District National Park. Both areas have a lot to offer home hunters searching for a rural idyll, Zoopla said.

As well as featuring in the most affordable list, the property website said that affordability has also improved the most in Cleator Moor and Egremont.

This is also the case in Whitehaven – where the average house price is £122,685 and the price to earnings ratio is 1.48 – and Millom – where the average house price is £121,565 and the price to earnings ratio is 1.47 – in the North West.

Zoopla said earnings growth is underpinned by its robust manufacturing sector and the Sellafield nuclear power station, a major employer in the area.

This three-bed terrace in William Morris Avenue, Cleator Moor, is for sale for u00A379,950 via estate agents Tiffen & Co

This three-bed terrace in William Morris Avenue, Cleator Moor, is for sale for £79,950 via estate agents Tiffen & Co

This two-bed semi-detached house in Bartons Way, Birmingham, is for sale for u00A3170,000 via estate agents Shipways

This two-bed semi-detached house in Bartons Way, Birmingham, is for sale for £170,000 via estate agents Shipways

For those on the hunt for a property near an Area of Outstanding Beauty, but at a more affordable price, the spa town of Malvern, located at the foot of the spectacular Malvern Hills has also seen an increase in its affordability.

Average house prices in the town stand at £265,710, while the price to earnings ratio is 3.73, down from 4.14.

Commuter towns such as Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, and the Scottish town of Beith have also seen improvements.

In Britain’s three largest cities, Barking & Dagenham is the most affordable area in London, Oldham is the most affordable in Manchester, and Lozells takes the crown in Birmingham.

Thsi three-bed terrace house in Lamont Crescent, East Ayrshire, Scotland KA18 Offers over u00A370,000

This three-bed terrace house in Lamont Crescent, Cumnock – East Ayrshire – is for sale for £70,000 via estate agents Slater Hogg & Howison

In Southern England, Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire has seen the biggest improvement in affordability with average house prices of £396,623 and a price to earnings ratio of 5.13.

With substantially lower house prices than London and direct trains to London Liverpool Street in just 40 minutes, Hoddesdon could be an attractive location for commuters looking to get more for their money, Zoopla suggested.

Nearby Waltham Cross has also seen improvements in affordability and is slightly more expensive with average house prices of £408,358 and a price to earnings ratio of 5.28, down from 5.70.

Areas in North Devon also feature strongly, with Bideford and Torrington both featuring in the top 10 list for improved affordability.

For those looking for a home near the coast, the historic harbour town of Bideford could be an attractive option with its independent shops and picturesque quay. The town has an average house price of £238,116 and price to earnings ratio of 3.86.

TOWNS WITH THE BIGGEST INCREASE IN AFFORDABILITY
Rank Postal town Local Authority Region Gross annual household earnings Median house prices Price to earnings ratio Change in house price to earnings ratio since 2019 Annual home mover mortgage repayment (£)* Mortgage payment as % of annual home movers household income*
1 Cleator Moor Copeland North West £82,924 £96,269 1.16 -12% £3,247 5%
2 Whitehaven Copeland North West £82,924 £122,685 1.48 -10% £4,138 7%
3 Malvern Malvern Hills West Midlands £71,193 £265,710 3.73 -10% £8,961 17%
4 Egremont Copeland North West £82,924 £106,771 1.29 -9% £3,601 6%
5 Beith North Ayrshire Scotland £62,338 £119,281 1.91 -9% £4,023 9%
6 Millom Copeland North West £82,924 £121,565 1.47 -8% £4,100 7%
7 Hoddesdon Broxbourne East of England £77,314 £396,623 5.13 -8% £13,376 23%
8 Bideford Torridge South West £61,734 £238,116 3.86 -8% £8,030 17%
9 Torrington Torridge South West £61,734 £222,837 3.61 -7% £7,515 16%
10 Waltham Cross Broxbourne East of England £77,314 £408,358 5.28 -7% £13,772 24%
Source: Zoopla                 

Although city locations are often associated with higher house prices, Britain’s largest cities all have areas with greater affordability.

In London, the house price to earnings ratio is most favourable in Barking and Dagenham at 5.4, in Bexley at 5.5 and in Tower Hamlets at 5.68.

In these boroughs, the average cost of a home is below 5.7 times the annual salary for a two-earner household’s average salary, making these boroughs among some of the most affordable in London.

In Greater Manchester, Coldhurst in Oldham is the most affordable, with average house prices of £104,416, and a price to earnings ratio of 2.01, while Lozells is the most affordable area in Birmingham. The average house price in the area is £141,431, while there’s a price to earnings ratio of 2.5.

Izabella Lubowiecka, of Zoopla, said: ‘The North West and Scotland dominate the most affordable areas list once again this year, with relatively modest pricing and stronger earnings in some areas making a home move more accessible for many. T

‘The data also shows that for homemovers on average salaries, mortgages are also more affordable, especially if homeowners have built up some equity in their current property.

‘These levels of affordability in some localities will be welcome news for homeowners looking to move into a larger home especially as the current lockdown restrictions start to ease.’



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House and 54 acres for sale near Amanda Owen’s Our Yorkshire Farm

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Fancy living near the Yorkshire Shepherdess? Nearby derelict cottage with 54 acres of land in North Yorkshire is up for grabs for £255k

  • Property is near Ravenseat, from Amanda Owen’s TV Show Our Yorkshire Farm
  • Carter’s Cottage is the name of the property listing and it includes 54 acres
  • The renovation project in North Yorkshire is on the market for £255k










Fancy living near the Yorkshire Shepherdess and having the Yorkshire Dales in your back garden?

Now is your opportunity, as a property with 54.5 acres of land is available to buy for £255,000 near Ravenseat Farm, home to shepherdess Amanda Owen, her husband of 21 years Clive, and their nine children.

The catch is that the house and adjoining barn are derelict and off-grid, with no mains services but with access to natural water on the site. 

The family and remote Ravenseat farm feature in the popular Channel 5 show Our Yorkshire Farm, as well as the best-selling book The Yorkshire Shepherdess

Amanda Owen is pictured with her family, consisting of her husband Clive, and their children Raven, Reuben, Miles, Edith, Violet, Sidney, Annas, Clementine, and Nancy

Amanda Owen is pictured with her family, consisting of her husband Clive, and their children Raven, Reuben, Miles, Edith, Violet, Sidney, Annas, Clementine, and Nancy

The nearby property for sale for £255k is called Carter's Cottage and has a similar feel to Ravenseat due to the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside

The nearby property for sale for £255k is called Carter’s Cottage and has a similar feel to Ravenseat due to the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside

There are no mains services to the former cottage or the land but there is a natural water supply at various points

There are no mains services to the former cottage or the land but there is a natural water supply at various points

The property for sale is called Carter’s Cottage and has a similar feel to Ravenseat as it is surrounded by plenty of beautiful North Yorkshire countryside.

However, it does not currently include a habitable home. Instead, there is a derelict stone cottage that would need to be converted before it can be occupied – or even rented out as a holiday home – as well as an adjoining stone barn. 

The property for sale is in Arkengarthdale, which is a dale on the east side of the Pennines in North Yorkshire.

There are no mains services to the former cottage or land, but there is a natural water supply at various points. The property is on the market for £255,000 via estate agents H&H Land & Estates.

Amanda runs Ravenseat farm with her husband Clive. She says hundreds of curious fans come to visit in hopes of catching a glimpse of her or her children

Amanda runs Ravenseat farm with her husband Clive. She says hundreds of curious fans come to visit in hopes of catching a glimpse of her or her children

There is a derelict stone cottage that would need to be converted before it can be occupied - or even rented out as a holiday home

There is a derelict stone cottage that would need to be converted before it can be occupied – or even rented out as a holiday home

The property for sale is in Arkengarthdale, which is a dale on the east side of the Pennines in North Yorkshire

The property for sale is in Arkengarthdale, which is a dale on the east side of the Pennines in North Yorkshire

While bookings are not currently being taken due to the pandemic, fans of the show have previously been able to visit and stay at Ravenseat Farm by renting out either a shepherd’s hut for £90 a night or a separate property on the family’s land for £175 a night.

It is possible to make the area nearby your regular holiday spot – or even your permanent base – as the property for sale is around 14 miles from Ravenseat Farm.  

The building needs a lot of work has plenty of scope to become a family house or holiday home, depending on budgets and planning permission

The building needs a lot of work has plenty of scope to become a family house or holiday home, depending on budgets and planning permission

Land has become increasingly sought-after amid the pandemic’s so-called ‘race for space’ among buyers.

Daniel Copley, of property website Zoopla, said: ‘If you’re tempted to make the move from the city to the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, this cottage and 54.5 acres of pasture land is brimming with potential and has a truly stunning location overlooking the Yorkshire Dales.’

The property for sale is on an elevated position on the east side of Arkengarthdale. 

Reeth is around four miles to the east, with the larger market town of Richmond about 14 miles to the east.

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‘After divorce, I’ve fallen in love. But something is holding me back’

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Question: I’m a divorced man, and I think I’ve fallen in love. This woman I care about so much brought me back to life after my divorce woes and I feel happy when we’re together. My life would certainly change if the relationship progressed and I feel the need to hit the brakes. Is it fear holding me back? Some advice would be great.

Answer: I think it is great that you are able to identify fear as the block to your relationship and it is worth looking at this. You have had a divorce, so your experience of relationship breakup is real and is clearly causing you to pause before heading into a committed relationship again. Some areas worth checking are your capacity for self-awareness, your relationship patterns and habits and your history of decision making.

Looking at self-awareness first – are you conscious of what motivates your actions and speech? In terms of self-awareness, there are many aspects of our ourselves which we are aware of, but we do need help with uncovering the full picture. For example, we can often see that someone we live or work with is stressed but they themselves would not know or acknowledge this and think that they are operating from a calm and collected place. It might be worth you checking with friends what they see in your new relationship and how they see you behaving. Do you seem happier to them, or is there wariness or caution in your approach to your partner? Your friends or family will be able to evaluate your wellness (or not) without the emotion or fear that you may have operating.

Ask for some honest opinions and remember if you ask for advice, take it on board as they may have more objectivity than you do. We all have relationship patterns and habits, so it is worth looking at yours to see if this is influencing your current impasse. These patterns typically start with our family of origin. For example, if there were difficulties (silences, anger, distances, or lack trust and love) in your parents’ relationship it is likely that you have a capacity to put up with or repeat such patterns in your own relationships.

Send your query anonymously to Trish Murphy

It helps to talk it over with someone you trust, so that you can hear the emotion that is going on in your voice and then act to disperse it

It sounds as though you are mistrusting of someone who has “brought you back to life” and it is worth looking at whether this caution is coming from your own past experience or from fear of getting into a relationship pattern similar to your parents’ one. It takes courage to challenge our patterns and the nature of habit is that it operates outside of conscious thinking, so we can respond without even knowing where we are coming from, eg we push someone away just as intimacy is growing. Behaviour such as this could derive from a generational fear of rejection, or a fear of closeness, or of being discovered as not what we seem to be. It is good to explore such habits as we can struggle to see them operating and they can operate as a huge block in our lives.

It is true that the “in-love” feeling can sometimes mask some of the adored person’s characteristics and this is why we always need the “head” as well as the “heart” when making decisions. What is your decision-making like normally? Do you have enough knowledge of this person to make a decision about joining your lives together? Have you spent enough time with them and their circle of friends to make an informed choice? Sometimes the feeling of intense connection at the beginning of a relationship can make us lose sight of the fact that we don’t know the other person very well and in these situations we would do well to slow it down and let our judgement work when the time is right. If you are happy that you have enough knowledge and information to make this decision, then you are probably right that it is fear that is stopping you moving forward.

A little fear is natural and can even help us, for example we drive under the speed limit oftentimes out of fear of getting a speeding ticket. However too much fear can be debilitating, and it can completely bock our intelligence. All relationships involve risk, in that we have to trust that someone else will value us and not reject us. Fear is such a powerful emotion it can cover other more rational and sane judgements and so we need to ensure that we are not just operating from that place.

It helps to talk it over with someone you trust, so that you can hear the emotion that is going on in your voice and then act to disperse it. However, it is worth knowing that fear and panic are closely aligned so we need to tackle them slowly and incrementally or else we go into a kind of frozenness. Overcome small fears first – this might involve speaking with some honesty with your partner – and gradually build up to the bigger fears. Your confidence and self-awareness will grow along the way and this can only benefit you. 

Click here to send your question to Trish or email tellmeaboutit@irishtimes.com

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Lighthouse workers end up with front-row seats for Storm Barra

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Four lighthouse workers who went to Fastnet Lighthouse in west Cork to carry out maintenance on Friday ended up having front-row seats for Storm Barra as they had to stay onsite due to the conditions.

The lighthouse recorded a wind gust of 159km/h on Tuesday morning but Irish Lights electronic engineer Paul Barron said that it was a safe place to be as the country battened down the hatches to face the storm.

Mr Barron and his colleagues Ronnie O’Driscoll, Dave Purdy and Malcolm Gillies made the journey to Fastnet on Friday to do maintenance work and were due back on Tuesday but their helicopter flight was cancelled because of the storm. They hope to arrive back on the mainland on Thursday.

Mr Barron said they are passing their time onsite by watching Netflix and having a few steaks and rashers. He admitted it was a day to remember on the lighthouse which is 54 metres above the sea.

“There is a team of four of us out here. It has been quite a rough day. We started off this morning at around 2am and by 10am or 11am we were in the eye of the storm. I was in the merchant Navy before as a radio officer so I have seen a lot of bad weather. I am with Irish Lights 32 years but I haven’t normally seen it like this. We wouldn’t normally be out in this. You are talking 9m swells with winds gusting up to 90 knots.”

He captured some footage of the storm on his phone. During the worst of the weather the men found it hard to hear each other as it was so noisy during the squalls.

The tower was “shuddering a bit” but Mr Barron managed to shoot video footage which attracted attention online and even a call from Sky News.

He says the lighthouse has kitchen facilities and they always bring additional food in case of emergency.

“It could be a fine summer’s day and there could be thick fog and the chopper wouldn’t take off so we always bring extra food. We are passing the time by watching Netflix! This is a good place to be in the eye of a storm. This lighthouse has been built a hundred years so it has seen a lot of storms.”

As for families being concerned about the men Mr Barron jokes that their loved ones are probably relieved they aren’t at home hogging the remote control.

Meanwhile, in Cork city centre the river Lee spilled on to quays and roads on Tuesday morning but no major damage to property was caused. Debris and falling trees kept local authority crews busy and power outages were reported in a number of areas across the county.

At least 23 properties were flooded in Bantry in west Cork. The council had placed sandbags along the quay wall and the fire brigade had six manned pumps around the town.

In north Cork, a lorry driver had a lucky escape in Fermoy when his vehicle overturned on the motorway during the high winds. Traffic diversions were put in place following the incident.

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