Copeland is England's last affordable area

The number of ‘easily affordable’ local authority areas across England has fallen from 72 to one over the last 16 years.

The rest of the Lake District is less affordable, with house prices in neighbouring South Lakeland standing at eight times the average local salary.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “London always comes out top when it comes to horror stories about ludicrously over-priced housing.

“But the toxic combination of rising property prices and falling real wages has meant that local housing affordability remains a huge problem for millions of people across the country.

“Houses and flats in traditionally affordable areas of the country – from Kirkless to Great Yarmouth and Plymouth to Oldham ¬– are now out of reach for many local people.”

House prices are at least five times the average wage in the whole of the South of England.

The top five least affordable areas are in London, with Kensington and Chelsea topping the list with house prices more than 30 times the average local salary.

Outside London Elmbridge in Surrey is the least affordable area with an affordability ratio of 14.3.

O’Grady added: ““We need an ambitious programme of home-building to get house prices back under control.

“At the same time, the growing number of people who have no hope or desire to buy a property any time soon but are still being clobbered by soaring rents need a better deal too.

“But housing affordability isn’t just about house prices, decent wages are just as important and there is a lot of ground to make up before we return to the kind of salaries that people were earning before the crash.”