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Think of a number

If you are looking to buy a house in London, the simple message is this: 'run away'. Or at least head for Scotland or Wales!

Unless you want to be mortgaged up to your eyeballs, not to mention having to fork out a whopping huge deposit, you are better off buying a home outside of the capital.

Figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders show just how unaffordable a home in London has become. In 1969, the average London homebuyer was borrowing roughly 2.7 times his salary to buy a property, in 1999 it was 3.46, by the end of 2000 it had risen to 3.67 and at the end of June this year, the figure had breached the magical ‘four times’ mark. By 2003 … who knows?

No wonder people can still afford to smile in Scotland and Wales. Just consider this: In 1969 a Welshman would have to finance his house 2.43 times over. Today it’s only 2.99.

And the Scots must be having a jolly good laugh too, rolling down the hills in their kilts. In 1969 they were applying for mortgages at 2.5 their salaries. And today, well that has risen to an earth-shattering 2.72!

Comments or suggestions to larry_schlesinger@vnu.co.uk

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