The ability of key public sector workers to purchase their own home continues to improve and is approaching the level achieved 10 years ago before the house price boom Halifax research shows.
Based on the benchmark ratio of average house price to average earnings, where housing is considered affordable to buy if the ratio is below 4.01 - the average priced home in 38% of towns is affordable for the average key worker to purchase, a rise from 36% in 2012.
Home purchase affordability has improved considerably since 2008 when homes in just 4% of towns (17 in total) were judged to be affordable for key workers to buy. Nonetheless, affordability remains below the 2003 level when the average house was considered to be affordable in 43% of towns.
All key worker occupations analysed - fire-fighters, nurses, teachers,paramedics, and police officers - have seen large improvements in the affordability to buy in the last five years.There have been growing numbers of keyworkers seeking professional mortgage advice.
The region which has seen the greatest number of towns - six - switch from unaffordable to affordable is Scotland.
At the other end of the scale, the West Midlands saw the most towns - five - become unaffordable for key workers.