Mortgage payments for new borrowers have reached their most affordable levels for 14 years, with typical payments in Northern Ireland well below the UK average at just over a fifth of disposable income, research from Halifax has found.
Scotland was the only UK region with cheaper average mortgage payments for new borrowers, at 20%. Some smaller areas within Scotland and northern England cost less than a fifth of disposable incomes.
Average mortgage payments for new borrowers, including first-time buyers and home movers, stood at 27% of disposable earnings in the fourth quarter of 2011.
This marks the lowest proportion since spring 1997 when a 26% proportion was recorded, and stands well below the 37% average over the past 27 years.
The study named Kensington and Chelsea as the least affordable local authority district, with mortgage payments taking up 78% of disposable local earnings.