We’re not about to start convincing everyone to move out of this great city. But if you’re thinking of settling down and buying a home, however, Birmingham can be, well, expensive. SmartSurvey has been looking at the UK’s most affordable cities for homeowners, and yeah… the Second City came nowhere close to the top.
The UK-based data collection experts reveal how much disposable income two average-earning homeowners in every UK city have after paying basic household bills and mortgage rates. Comparing 73 cities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Birmingham averages a monthly disposable income of £2,159.30.
That’s better than Lichfield (£1,998.18 p/m) and Wolverhampton (£2,142.30 p/m), but worse than Worcester (£2,251.72 p/m) and Coventry (£2,357.94 p/m). If you want to know the least affordable place in the West Midlands (and tenth in the UK), then you only have to look at Hereford, where homeowners only have £1,779.88 disposable income to spend every month.
Thinking of somewhere with a better work-life balance in the West Midlands? There’s one that stands out, Stoke-on-Trent. An hour’s drive from Birmingham – even quicker by train – Stoke has the highest disposable in the region. And this is despite having the lowest salaries, of £2,027 per month, of all West Midlands cities.
In ‘The City of Five Towns’, you’ll find the most affordable homes by far (£175,000 compared to £250,000 in Birmingham and Wolverhampton). It also has the area’s smallest bills (gas, electricity, water and council tax), costing £311.53 per month. This leaves homeowners with a monthly disposable income of £2,509.87. Can we hear you calling your estate agent already?
Why move to Stoke-on-Trent?
Money isn’t everything and one-half of the work-life balance is life; there’s no point having all this money if you’ve nothing to spend it on. Stoke doesn’t have the Michelin-star restaurants that Birmingham has, but there are several well-regarded spots around the city – including Lunar, with its British-inspired tasting menu.
You’ll also want to explore the stunning Trentham Estate and its award-winning gardens; learn more about the region at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery; catch a theatre show at the legendary Victoria Hall; and wander Caldon Canal – a beautiful waterway that might even rival Birmingham’s. It’s not quite the Second City, but Stoke-on-Trent is worth a visit at the very least.