IT is home to the world’s oldest recorded football and was the site of the first planned flight in Scotland nearly 500 years ago.

Now Stirling has topped another list after it was revealed as the most affordable city in the UK when house prices are compared to local pay.

According to a new study, the average property price in Stirling was £186,084 in 2017, which is 4.03 times local earnings.

This is well below the average in Scotland of 5.35 and across the rest the UK at 7.20, according to the Bank of Scotland index.

It is the fifth year in a row that Stirling has been ranked as the most affordable in the cities research and it is joined by four other Scots places – Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness and Perth – in the UK top 20.

Across Scotland as a whole, home affordability has improved very slightly in the last 12 months the study found.

The average house price across all Scottish cities increased by 1.8 per cent, from £186,827 in 2016 to £190,250 in 2017.

But average earnings increased by two per cent resulting in average home affordability improving very slightly in the last year from 5.36 to 5.35 times average earnings.

Edinburgh, Dundee and Perth all saw an improvement in average home affordability with a slight decline for Aberdeen despite the recent downturn in the oil industry which has hit the North-east property market hard.

Inverness, Glasgow and Stirling also saw a decline but still feature in the top 20 most affordable UK cities.

House prices in Edinburgh remain the most expensive in the country but have become more affordable in the last year, the study found.

Perth has seen the biggest improvement in terms of home affordability over the last five years.

The average price rose by 11 per cent to £181,329 in the last five years which is lower than the average of all other Scottish cities which increased by 23 per cent to £190,250.

The study found that Perth is the only city in Scotland where homes are more affordable than they were five years ago, improving from 5.5 times the average yearly salary to 5.44.

Average house prices in Glasgow increased faster than in any other Scottish city, growing by 35 per cent in five years.

Ricky Diggins, director at Bank of Scotland, said: “It will come as no surprise to anyone looking to buy a home in Scotland that affordability is not improving by much but compared to the rest of the UK, the dream of living in one of our cities is more achievable.

“Surprisingly, homes in Edinburgh have become more affordable in the last 12 months, although house prices in our capital continue to be more expensive than in all other Scottish cities.”

Stirling was the site of the first attempt at flight in Scotland when in 1507, an Italian alchemist by the name of John Damian believed that, with the aid of feathered wings, he would be able to take flight from the castles’s battlements. He failed and instead landed in a dunghill and broke his thigh bone.

It is also the place where the oldest football in the world was discovered.

The ball was found behind the panelling in Mary, Queen of Scots’ chamber and although no one knows how it got there, speculation includes the queen hid it in a safe place to protect it from witch craft.

It was made from an inflated pig’s bladder, wrapped with cow’s hide and is around half the size of footballs today.

Across the UK, the survey found that Londonderry in Northern Ireland is the second most affordable city with a ration of 4.1 followed by Bradford at 4.5.

Lancaster, Durham, Belfast, Sunderland and Lisburn are next on the list followed by Dundee. The affordability of a home across cities has generally fallen and are at their most affordable level since 2013, the report concluded.

In general, property prices in Scotland have continued to rise year-on-year, according to the latest monthly UK House Price Index (HPI).

The average price of a property in Scotland is £143,544 – up 2.8 per cent on the previous year. However, the figure decreased when compared with the previous month, this time by 0.7 per cent.

The UK average was £223,807 – an increase of 4.5 per cent in 12 months but a decrease of 0.5 per cent on the previous month.