A bus passes a row of estate agents signs attached to railings in Romford, U.K. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

London Property Becomes More Affordable for First Time in Years

(Bloomberg) -- In a sign of the Brexit malaise paralyzing the London housing market, the U.K capital was the only region where properties became more affordable last year.

The move follows two decades of worsening affordability that has left the average price of home in London at close to 500,000 pounds ($650,000).

London Property Becomes More Affordable for First Time in Years

Data published Thursday show that full-time workers in London could expect to pay 12.25 times their annual earnings to purchase a home, compared with 12.38 in 2017. The last time there was a decline was during the financial crisis a decade ago. Every other region saw a slight deterioration in affordability, leaving the ratio for England and Wales as a whole at 7.83.

In London, property prices are now falling outright as the turmoil around Britain’s departure from the European Union escalates. That’s good news for young people locked out of the housing market after years of soaring values.

London Property Becomes More Affordable for First Time in Years

London nonetheless remains home to the least affordable districts in the country. In first place is Kensington and Chelsea, where the median house price was 44.5 times workplace-based average earnings last year. Those searching for a bargain could do no better than Copeland in northwest England, where the ratio is just 2.5.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.