How much does a house cost in England? London & South vs North

I’ve noticed lately more and more Romanians in England are pushing hard to get their own house. And why not? Why pay rent to a landlord, when you can put that money in to monthly payments for your own house, investing in your own future. You’re giving away this money on a monthly basis anyway, right? Let’s see how much does a house costs in England at this time, in August 2022.

Prices have increased a lot in the last two years, even by 40% in some areas. Brexit, Covid, the war in Ukraine, low interest rates on mortgage loans and the uncertainty of the future, all these factors have led many to want the security of their own property in England. Thus creating an extraordinary demand that far exceeds the supply. At the moment, the Bank of England is increasing the reference interest rates to reduce inflation. Interest rates on mortgage loans have already increased from 1% to 4%, but it seems that the market is still stubborn and the demand it’s still solid. However the rate of house price increases has slowed significantly.

Let’s see how much a house costs in England. From the start, we noticed on the major real estate websites that in the South of the country, especially in the London area, the prices, which were already ridiculously high, reached alarming levels. I have already explained in the article “How much does it cost to live in England” that salaries in the British capital are not that amazing for the common man, and many are forced to live in a shared accommodation. What chances do these people have to buy a house?

I will only look at houses with 3 bedrooms, I think that anything smaller than that is insufficient for a family in the long term and it’s simply not worth the investment and effort to buy. As I said in the article “What are the most Shocking things in the England UK“, the houses in England are among the smallest in Europe. The third bedroom is often just a room of 1.7 by 2 meters (36 sq feet), known as a box room, mostly used just as storage space.

A house in the North of London, in zone 3 of the city near Gladstone Park, 10 kilometres from the centre, with 3 bedrooms and approx. 80 square meters (861 sq feet), costs around 575,000 GBP (675000 USD). I don’t know how good the area is, if you live there please tell me.

House for sale in London , zone 3, 3 bedrooms , price 575,000 GBP

For this house, with a deposit of 10%, your mortgage will be no less than 2,4112 pounds per month (2830 USD), for 30 years. Is that a lot? Yes! This figure is almost the average NET salary in London (2556 pounds per month in 2021)… But it seems that there are plenty who will pay this and fuel the demand.

It’s also true that in London there are many “investors” from the Arab countries, many Russians, Indians, Russians, Chinese, etc. who dump their money in properties to have them in the safe British market, and they rent them out or they simply stay empty. But overall these properties are relatively few in numbers. We’re not going to even look at zones 1 or 2 because it’s pointless (we’re talking about millions in zone 1). So let’s see something cheaper on the outskirts of the British capital.

A house on the outskirts of the capital near the M25 ring motorway, zone 6, 20 km from the city center (45 minutes by metro), is about 400,000 pounds, but if you look hard enough you can find something cheaper. The monthly payment for a 30 year mortgage would be around 1800 pounds. We’re already approaching acceptable levels for a family with a combined household income of 4,000 pounds.

How much does a house cost in England UK? House in London , zone 6

And a house outside of London city limits, but in the metropolitan area, for example towards the coast in the area near Tilbury, Essex, next to the port of London, an area where there are many huge warehouses like the one from Amazon, can be found at 325,000 pounds. A 30 year mortgage would result in a monthly payment of 1350 pounds.

House in London metro area, Essex

A 3 bedroom house that costs between 300 to 350 thousand is generally the average price of a decent house in the South of England. You can generally find something decent at this price in Cambridge, Oxford, Milton Keynes areas, but also in Southampton, Portsmouth or Bournemouth . At this price you can even find a newbuild, semi-detached house, with garden and off drive parking in front of the house. Quite decent I would say for the South coast of England where the weather is somewhat better and the average net salary is somewhere around 2300 pounds.

3 br house in Portsmouth area, England, price 350,000 GBP

These would be the house prices in the South of England, but the topic of the article is “How much does a house cost in England?”. England doesn’t mean just the South, that’s only the most known and most crowded part of the country. If the prices seem ridiculous until now, you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that in the North, the prices are much lower and even come close to my home country Romania.

In the Liverpool – Manchester conglomerate, a developed area with a major sea port, international airport, industry, universities and everything else you’d want from England, a house similar to the last one above, in a good area with 3 bedrooms can be found for as low as 165,000 pounds! Even in Romania, in a big city, it is already very difficult to find such a house under this price.

3 br semidetached house in Liverpool – price 165,000 GBP

The monthly repayment figure for the same mortgage extended over 30 years, and with a 10% deposit, would be 692 pounds per month, which is approximately the same value as the rent for such a house in Liverpool.

Mortgage monthly repayment Liverpool house
3 br semidetached house price in Hull , UK

For example of comparison, in my hometown of Constanta, Romania, a 3 br house in a decent area, costs around 160,000 Euros.

3 br house cost in Constanta, Romania

In cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Hull, Sheffield or Nottingham, with a budget of 250,000 GBP, you can already start looking at the good areas of the city, close to the waterfront. Also in such cities, if you’re not to picky on the kind of house you want, you can find a “terraced” house (that’s the model where there is a continuous row of houses that extends along the whole street) even for less than 100,000 pounds! These houses are not the biggest, and they only have a small paved yard, instead of a garden. They are not in the best areas, but not in the worst either. In any case, such a house provides all the necessary comfort for a family with children.

Terraced house example in Liverpool – price 95,000 GBP

In my country Romania you can find such a house for this money only outside the big cities. See for example the house below, a br 3 bedrooms home in the village of Valul Traian, 13 kilometres from the centre of Constanta city, part of the city metro area.

The average net salary in Liverpool is about 2100 GBP, or 2500 EUR, the average net salary in Constanta, Romania is approximately 3300 Lei, or 670 EUR. Not sure I understand how is it that in Romania houses cost about the same but salaries are 3 times lower…

In conclusion, the prices in the North of the country for those who want to buy a house in England, are much more affordable. This is especially true for those with average or low salaries. Keep in mind that the salary difference between the British capital London and other big cities is not large in most fields of work. But London still remains attractive for certain special categories (for example those who work in the financial sector, government, construction or research). I hope this article was helpful to you.

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