TRURO is one of the most expensive cities to buy a house in the UK say Lloyds Bank.
Cornwall’s only city is the third least-affordable place to live in the country, with house prices almost nine times the average wage, according to the bank's annual Affordable Cities Review.
The survey compared average earnings with average house prices in 62 of the UK’s cities and found that the disparity in Truro was beaten only by Oxford and Winchester.
The average 2014 cost of a house in Truro is £224,804, against the average annual wage of £20,405 in the city.
Nitesh Patel, a housing economist at Lloyds Bank, said: "Truro is one of the smallest cities in the country but demand is clearly high.
"Location is a factor considering it is such a long way from London. Truro offers a great quality of life – good schools with good employment prospects and it's close to the sea.”
But there is fear that the high cost and low wages are pushing young working couples and families out of the housing market in the city.
Young professionals Paul Jordan, 27, and Michelle O’Leary, 26, have been renting in Trispen for four years.
Despite owning two 108 coffee shops in central Truro the couple can’t afford to take the next step and buy a home of their own.
Mr Jordan said: “If we could afford to buy a house in Truro we would, but we can’t. It’s the initial deposit and then the mortgage repayments. If we did move in to Truro we wouldn’t be able to buy anything like what we rent in Trispen.
“They say that a Waitrose raises house prices by 25 per cent, so when the shop comes to town Truro will be completely unaffordable.”
Ben Leach, a mortgage consultant based in Cornwall has said that Mr Jordan and Miss O’Leary’s problem is one he encounters almost daily.
The consultant said: “I know for a fact the amount of people I see, especially young people, their salaries aren’t enough for them to buy homes.
“Truro is an expensive place to live. People want second homes here and to retire here but wages are still low, so it’s a combination of both high house prices and low salaries.
“Getting first time byers on the ladder in Truro is increasingly hard. More and more I’m seeing parents having to help out. Mum and Dad are raising mortgages on their own houses as it is the only way to get a large enough deposit for their son or daughter.
“But it isn’t all doom and gloom. If people are looking to buy property in Truro there are still ways to do it, it just has to be in the right area and with the right scheme. It isn’t as easy as it once was, but you just have to think outside the box.”
One possible solution to the widening gap between house prices and salaries in Truro might be the provision of more affordable homes.
Geoff Brown, portfolio holder for homes and communities on Cornwall Council, said that affordable housing was a key priority of the local authority to focus on.
Mr Brown said: “It still is one of our main priorities.
“One of the problems is that affordable homes cost 80 per cent of the market value, but in a place like Truro, where property prices are high, that isn’t affordable.
“We are exploring the possibility of making some of our affordable homes less than 80 per cent of the market value.
“We also need to press the Government for fairer funding because there is a huge disparity in, for example buying a house in Solihull, where the difference between house prices and wages are significantly less.
“Local authorities need the freedom to administer needs locally. The Government keeps talking to us about devolving to parish and town councils – I think they need to devolve from government to local government.”
The Affordable Cities Review took in to account the TR1, TR2, TR3 and TR4 postcodes, which include the Roseland, Feock and Chacewater.
Most expensive cities:
5. Brighton And Hove
Most affordable cities: