HOUSE prices in Oxford are finally falling – but if you’re struggling to get on the housing ladder here, the bad news is they’re still out of reach for most.

Housing site Zoopla said the average cost of a home in the city dipped by 0.4 per cent for the year to July to £405,600, compared to a yearly rise of 0.5 in both May and June.

However, Oxford sits in the top three most expensive places in the UK, behind London and Cambridge.

And homes are 11.9 times more expensive than the average salary here, which is £33,900.

It means that affordability in the city has slightly improved over the last four years as wage growth is outstripping house price growth.

What can I afford?

If you earn the average salary for Oxford of £33,900, then not a lot.

Most mortgage providers will lend four times your salary, which means on the average wage, you could borrow £135,600.

And even if you’re lucky enough to have a 10 per cent deposit, then your maximum spend is £149,160.

There is currently nothing for sale in Oxford for less than around £250,000.

To put it in perspective, for £169,000 you can get a small one-bed flat in Didcot.

Or, if you fancy shelling out, a converted barber shop in East Oxford (with one bedroom) is ‘coming soon’ on Zoopla – at an eye-watering £275,000.

The Oxford Times:

Robin Swailes with the former shop on Hertford Street when it first went on sale. 

The East Oxford flat, which was previously billed as Oxford's smallest home at 16 square metres, is now being advertised as being 29 sq mt - which while much bigger, is still pretty small. 

The Oxford Times:

Pic. Andrews

What do the experts say?

Richard Donnell, Research and Insight Director at Zoopla, said: “While welcome news, the gap between earnings and prices needs to close further in order to make a material difference to would be purchasers.

“There are 12 cities where the annual growth in house prices is below the growth in average earnings which is running at 3.7%.

“Although the likes of London, Oxford, Cambridge are at their most affordable levels in four years, the price to earnings ratio remains well ahead of the 20-year average. “Some cities to the north of England and Scotland are more affordable now when compared to 2007 but, with more scope for future house price growth, the price to earnings ratio is set to rise slowly in the coming years.”

The figures

The Oxford Times: