Scotland’s most and least affordable cities revealed

02 February 2019

  • Aberdeen sees biggest improvement in home affordability over the last five years

  • Average house price in Stirling up 41% versus Scottish average (30%)

  • Stirling ranked most affordable city in the UK for the sixth consecutive year


Aberdeen has seen Scotland’s biggest boost in home affordability as average house prices have risen by only 2% to £203,944 in the last five years. This is compared to an average of 30% (£219,746) in Scottish cities since 2013.

The latest Bank of Scotland research found that homes in the Granite City are more affordable than they were five years ago, improving to 5.0 from 5.6 times the average salary. Perth, once Scotland’s capital is the only other Scottish city to see affordability improve over the last five years – from 5.4 to 5.1.

Stirling is the most affordable city in the UK when comparing average house price to wages. The average house price in Stirling is now £192,326, which is more than four times local average earnings. This is below the overall average ratio in Scotland of 5.4 and the UK average of 7.5. Mary Queen of Scots was crowned at Stirling Castle and spent many a time there times during her reign.

The average house price in Stirling has increased by 41% in the last five years, faster than any other Scottish city. In 2013, the average house price was £136,036, rising to £192,326 in 2018. The affordability of homes in Glasgow has declined the most in the last five years (4.5 to 5.5 times average earnings).

Home affordability in Scottish cities remains stable in last 12 months

The average house price across all Scottish cities increased by 3.7%, from £190,250 in 2017 to £197,308 in 2018. The average earnings increased by 3.3%, resulting in home affordability remaining broadly stable over the past 12 months – from 5.36 to 5.38 times average earnings.

Aberdeen and Perth are the only cities to see an improvement in average home affordability over the past year. Meanwhile, Inverness, Dundee and Stirling also saw a decline but still feature in the top 20 most affordable UK cities.

Ricky Diggins, director at Bank of Scotland said: “Although we've seen house prices rise dramatically in Stirling and homes in Glasgow become less affordable over the past five years, Aberdeen has in fact seen the biggest improvement.

 With average earnings and house prices broadly on a par, it's good news for homebuyers looking to live in one of the UK's top 20 most affordable cities.”

Average house price in UK higher than in Scottish cities

In the last five years, house prices in the UK has increased by 37% to £265,405, compared to 30% in Scottish cities. The average house price in Scottish cities is now lower than the UK average, with the exception of Edinburgh, where the average house price is £266,455.

Six of the top 20 most affordable cities in the UK are in Scotland

Stirling (4.4), Londonderry (4.4) and Newry in Northern Ireland (4.5) are the top three cities in the UK in terms of affordability. Aberdeen (5.0), Perth (5.1), Dundee (5.4), Glasgow (5.5) and Inverness (5.8) also appear in the top 20 most affordable cities in the UK. Oxford is named as the least affordable city in the UK with an average house price to earnings ratio of 12.6.