And the most affordable UK city to rent or buy is...

...the town where you'd be spending just 12% of your income on rent or under 20% on mortgage repayments. We reveal the best cities, and other cost-effective places to live

for sale signs on rows of terraces
(Image credit: Getty)

Housing campaigners and finance experts are in consensus: you shouldn't be spending more than a third of your income on rent or mortgage. This figure is optimal for both your quality of life and any subsequent mortgage applications

This is a sobering figure, though, especially for those of us who live in cities such as London or Oxford – and spend as much as two-thirds of our incomes on rent. 

For many renters who live in London and the South East, spending a huge proportion of their incomes on rent isn't a choice; however, if you are self-employed, or are able to work remotely, you might consider relocating to UK towns where rent remains at no more than 30 per cent of an average income. 

And most affordable UK city to rent in is..? Derby, where the average rent is just £494 a month, which is just 12 per cent of an average two-person household income of £4,250. Aberdeen, Coventry, and Plymouth also have great rent-to-income ratios of no more than 15 per cent. 

And if you're ready to buy and want to keep mortgage repayments low? You may want to consider moving to Glasgow, where the average mortgage is £669 per month. Liverpool is another great city for buying a home, where an average mortgage will set you back £689, or just over 19 per cent of an average two-person income of £3,595.

To view the full list of the '30 per cent housing club', visit CompareTheMarket (opens in new tab). Hint: they're not ALL up North.

Have these attractive prices got you considering whether a mortgage might be better than renting? Read our guide to mortgage for first-time buyers

Anna is Content Editor at Real Homes. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. At Real Homes, she covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.