House prices in the city have risen by 52 per cent in the last five yearsSimon Lock

Cambridge is the fourth-least affordable city in the UK, according to a report recently published by Lloyds Bank.

Oxford is the least affordable, while Greater London and Winchester came second and third respectively.

Along with Chichester, the four cities all have average house prices costing at least ten times as much as annual gross average earnings within the city. The average house price in Oxford is £385,372, 10.7 times its annual gross average earnings. Cambridge’s average house price was higher, at £387,380, but average earnings were also higher, compensating for the house price disparity.

Cambridge was also among the top ten UK cities for highest house price growth in the last ten years, with 46 per cent increase, the fifth-highest. In the last five years, Cambridge house prices have risen 52 per cent, the fourth-highest figure in the country.

The was also a clear North – South divide within the report, with only Litchfield, York and Leicester being the only non-southern cities to feature in the top twenty for lowest affordability. All of the cities with the highest affordability came from outside southern England, with Stirling coming top.Across the country, affordability has declined significantly: the average UK house now costs 6.9 times gross average earnings, up from 5.5 times in 2012. This is because average earnings have only increased by seven per cent, to £32,796, whilst the average house price have gone up by 32 per cent over the last five years, to £224,926 from £169,966.

Commenting on the report, Lloyds Bank Mortgage Products Director Andy Mason said: “Affordability levels have worsened for four consecutive years as average city house prices continue to rise more steeply than average wage growth.”

Cambridge already has a reputation for steep living costs. Last July, the city fared badly in a survey by credit card company Marbles rating university towns by affordability. Cambridge ranked 40th on the list, beating only Oxford Brookes and London universities. Oxford ranked higher, at 32nd