Affordable alternatives to the UK's most desirable areas

It is no secret that homes in some of the most desirable areas in the country come with a hefty price tag. Unless you have owned a home in one of these areas for some time, it is easy to be priced out, which is disappointing for anyone who wanted to retire there.

However, we've carried out some research on six of the top unaffordable areas and found nearby alternatives with more reasonable house prices. Over 60s may also be eligible for ourHome for Life Plan  that can reduce the cost of buying a home by up to 59%. 


The “City of Dreaming Spires” is based around the prestigious University and impressive  architecture, combined with plenty of open green spaces and easy links to London it is an ideal city to retire to. However, the average house price on Rightmove in Oxford is currently £385,372, this can put Oxford out of reach of the average pensioner.

But don’t be disheartened. If Oxford is out of your budget but you want to spend your retirement in the area, there are other nearby towns and villages you could consider. Bicester for example has all the amenities that you could need and has an average house price of less £311,601. The historic market time is fast growing due to its ideal location with easy transport to Oxford and London.

Abingdon is also a pretty village outside of Oxford has an average house price of £315,165. Although there is no train service, there are regular buses to Oxford and it has a riverside location and is perfect for those looking for a relaxing place to retire to.


Winchester has also recently been named one of the most unaffordable places to live in the UK. The beautiful cathedral city in the heart of Hampshire has an eye watering average house price of £450,000. The historic city is in easy reach of the South Downs, making it the perfect spot for keen walkers and wildlife lovers.

But Winchester isn’t the only cathedral city near the downs. Not far away you will find Chichester. Here the average house prices are £369,482. It is a stone’s throw from the Downs and the South coast and you are not too far from Brighton and London either.


The average house price in Chelmsford is £350,000. Chelmsford has a rich history and, like most of the desirable locations, a lovely cathedral  along with some pretty riverside spots. It attracts commuters due to the easy, 35 minute train journey into the centre of London. It is also a lovely place to retire to if you want to move out of London but don’t want to go too far.

Outside of Chelmsford city centre there are many lovely villages to choose from that will give you a good quality of life and still be within easy reach of London but with a lower price tag than Clemsford. Old Moulsham is close by and has an average house price of £308,519.

Brighton and Hove

It is easy to see why Brighton is such a popular place to live. It has a Bohemian vibe, a beach, lots of outdoor space, the South Downs and an easy journey to London. However, house prices are now at an average of £380,000 and so finding your dream retirement home in Brighton can be difficult.

However, if you head west from Hove you come to Portslade, which is still close enough to the centre for convenience, but has an average house price of £322,709. Further west still and you come to Worthing, which is where Homewise are based. Our home town has everything you could need and is a short train ride into Brighton. The average house price here is £284,287 and is a very popular choice for people who want to buy a home close to Brighton without the hefty price tag.

St Albans

St Albans is one of the most unaffordable locations in the UK. Once you may have chosen St Albans in order to escape London, but now Greater London has enveloped it. However, St Albans is still a beautiful town with its own character and Cathedral. For many St Albans will be unaffordable but for anyone moving out of central London it is a viable option.

The average house price in St Albans is £500,000. You could consider Cambridge with an average house price of £470,000. Cambridge, like Oxford, is based around its world famous university and has stunning architecture and beautiful riverside spots to relax.  For a modern alternative to both these options, Welwyn Garden City has an average house price of £373,093. Welwyn Garden City is very well connected, you can be in central London within half an hour. The planned layout affords plenty of green space and modern, easy to maintain homes.

Talk to us

Our Home For Life Plan is specifically designed to help people in their retirement afford their dream home in the location they want. Whilst house prices have risen faster than most people can keep up with, with the Home for Life Plan plan you  can save up to 59% off the market price of a home depending on your age, personal circumstances and the property you're looking to buy. For more information download our brochure, fill in our on-line calculator or get in touch with our of our friendly team to find out more.