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Can you afford enough ‘space to swing a cat’ in the UK?

Westminster and the City of London take all top ten most expensive postcodes by square foot in the UK, according to personal finance website Bankrate.

In line with the launch of its new ‘Space to Swing a Cat’ calculator, Bankrate analysed the nation’s cheapest and most expensive postcodes by price per square foot.

The new calculator allows users to enter their budget and desired postcode to see how much space they can get for their money compared to other areas of the country.

Fresh data from the calculator shows that the postcode with the cheapest square footage buyers can purchase is TS2, in Middlesbrough, with prices in the North East town at just £43.71 per square foot. Here, homebuyers paying the national average of £220,700 for a property would get 5,349ft2 – roughly the equivalent of 2.5 tennis courts.

Meanwhile, the most expensive postcode in the country belongs to W1K, in Westminster, where buyers pay a whopping £2,480 per square foot. The national average would get buyers just 89ft2 – about the size of a large garden shed.

Sarah Guershon, mortgage expert at Bankrate, comments: “We're constantly bombarded with stories of how unaffordable London is, so it should come as no surprise that the capital dominates the most expensive postcode list for square footage. These are all within an eight-mile radius of each other, which means you can get more for your money in other London areas."

In fact, the top 10 most expensive postcodes are in the capital – all of which are in the boroughs of Westminster and the City of London.

Can you afford enough ‘space to swing a cat’ in the UK?

At the other end of the scale, the three cheapest postcodes in London are all in the borough of Bexley. DA17 in Belvedere offers £338 per square foot, and DA8 and DA18, both in Erith, offer £332 and £279 per square foot, respectively.

Bankrate says, however, that while these postcodes are the cheapest in the capital, the London borough with the lowest average price-per-square-foot across all postcodes is Barking and Dagenham (£352).

Outside of London, the most expensive postcode is still just a stone’s throw away. Thames Ditton in Elmbridge, Surrey, offers property at an average of £560 per square foot. Other regions on the border of Greater London – St Albans, Hertsmere and Guildford – also appear high on the list.

The study also revealed a clear disparity amongst different regions of the UK, with the average price per square foot tending to increase further down south.

In the north, Ambleside in the South Lakeland District is the most expensive postcode at £343 per square foot on average. This is followed by Altrincham in the Trafford District of Manchester (£315ft2) and the M2 postcode area in the heart of Manchester city centre (£310ft2).

To see how much space you could get for your money, you can view the Bankrate calculator here.

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