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It takes 29 years to purchase a London flat on the average UK salary: See all the global capitals that are cheaper

  • The UK has the 5th most expensive capital for Brits to purchase a property in globally
  • It would 65 years and 8 months to pay the deposit for a flat in the city centre of Hong Kong
  • London takes longer to save for than any other European capital, where the average is 10 years of saving to pay a deposit

31, October, 2022, LONDON –

With people in the UK experiencing soaring mortgage rates and property prices that remain near record highs, many house hunters could be forgiven for casting an envious glance at cheaper property abroad.

And new research from personal finance comparison site highlights how long it would take someone on an average UK salary to save up for a deposit on a flat in capitals around the world.

A buyer hoping to get on the property ladder in London would need to save up for a staggering 29 years to afford a 15% deposit on an average 2-bed city centre flat, which costs an extortionate £778k. This wait is 3 times longer than the time needed to save for a deposit on the average flat price around the world (£260k), which is around 9.5 years.

Despite the significant cost of a flat in London, there are 4 capitals with more expensive property on the list. Hong Kong has the most expensive flats, and therefore requires the longest time to save up for. Incredibly, the average Brit would need to save for 65 years and 8 months just to afford a deposit on a typical flat worth £1.77 million. Seoul, South Korea, takes second place, with an average £1.14 million property price requiring a saving period of roughly 42.5 years.

For those who are truly seeking bargains, there are 7 countries on the list where Brits could save a deposit in under 2 years. City centre flats in the capitals of Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Venezuela, Turkey, Mauritius, Egypt and Pakistan cost between just £30k and £55k.

Notable capitals in Europe where it would take Brits significantly less time to save for a property include Ankara in Turkey: here, the average flat price of £41k would require only 1.5 years to save up for a deposit, Athens in Greece, where the deposit for the average flat price of £129k would take 4 years and 9 months of saving for and Budapest, Hungary, where the average cost of a flat (£166k) would require a typical Brit to save for 6 years and 2 months for.

In Western Europe, a city centre flat in Brussels, Belgium, will set you back an average of £207k, requiring 7 years and 9 months to save for a deposit – just over a quarter of the time needed for a London flat. A Madrid flat will cost £273k on average, requiring a saving period of 10 years and 2 months for a deposit in the Spanish capital, while a flat in Dublin, Ireland (£387k), will take around 14.5 years to save for a deposit, which is roughly half the time needed for London.

To see the research in full visit:

Commenting on the findings, Liz Edwards, editor-in-chief at said:

“Living abroad may feel like a big step for people in the UK, but it could be an increasingly attractive option for hardworking Brits who are fed up with sky-high property prices. Of course it’s a life-altering decision so a lot of thought would need to go into personal and financial ramifications, along with things like whether you could work remotely plus, of course, visas and taxes.

“For those who are in the UK and facing rising costs, such as higher mortgage rates, , there are plenty of ways to cope with the cost of living crisis. Here are some tips:

Sign up for loyalty schemes wherever possible

Weekly expenses such as your food shop can really add up, so make sure you’re signed up to any loyalty schemes on offer at your supermarket of choice. The majority of these stores will offer rewards in return for any money spent in-store, so those weekly shops could quickly lead to significant discounts further down the line.

Cancel any unnecessary subscriptions

Take an inventory of any existing subscriptions you’re being charged for, and consider whether or not you really need them. These costs can easily add up over time, and it’s easy to forget that you have this money routinely leaving your account. Setting time aside every 6 months to review these outgoings could save you a significant amount over time.

Take advantage of switching deals

Many banks are currently offering generous cash incentives for switching your current account, and it’s a surprisingly simple way to earn yourself up to £200 If you were considering switching your current account, or if you don’t have any significant reason to stay with your current bank account, this could be a really simple way of obtaining some extra cash.

Methodology: calculated the cost of a 2-bed flat in each country based on the average cost per square metre of a city centre flat on Numbeo, combined with a median size of 59.11 square metres (taken from a 2010 dwelling size survey commissioned for the UK Government). These figures were used to calculate the average cost of a city centre flat in the capital city of 106 different countries and the deposit for each property was assumed to be 15%.

The UK average monthly salary after tax (£2,239.32) was then taken from Numbeo, with 15% of this being calculated as the amount being saved each month (£335.90). These figures were then used to calculate the average time it would take to save up for a deposit for the flat prices listed above.


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