WIRRAL has been named the fifth most affordable place in England and Wales for singletons to get on the property ladder.

Zoopla made the findings after comparing the costs of one-bedroom flats in local authority areas with local average wages.

The research also found that, outside London, Hertsmere in Hertfordshire is the least affordable location for single people to buy a property.

Within London, Kensington and Chelsea was found to be the most expensive borough, where the mortgage payments needed could equate to 77.7% of a typical monthly local pre-tax wage.

Bexley was found to be the most affordable London borough, with mortgage payments on homes equating to about 27.76% of monthly wages.

The research, which coincides with Valentine's Day, made several assumptions, including that someone would have a 15% deposit to put down and that they would be paying off a mortgage over 25 years.

It found that mortgage repayments in Sunderland could potentially equate to 9.2% of someone's monthly wage, compared with 35.1% in Hertsmere.

While Zoopla's calculations about buyers' potential mortgage payments are theoretical, in reality, lenders must carry out strong checks to make sure people's mortgages are affordable and that they are not borrowing more than they will comfortably be able to pay back.

Annabel Dixon, a spokeswoman for Zoopla, said: "The most affordable area for single buyers is northern England, while those in southern England are forced to sacrifice a much larger portion of their monthly wage."

Zoopla used Office for National Statistics (ONS) full-time gross earnings figures to make the calculations.

Here are the top 10 cheapest local authority areas for single buyers according to Zoopla:

1. Sunderland, 9.19%

2. North Tyneside, 10.67%

3. Wakefield, 11.53%

4. Blackpool, 11.54%

5. Wirral, 11.65%

6. Kirklees, 11.91%

7. East Riding of Yorkshire, 12.11%

8. Bradford, 12.72%

=9. Derby, 13.02%

=9. Kingston upon Hull, 13.02%