You may not be able to afford a house if you work in these sectors


House affordability for the major workers such as nurses, teachers and firefighters over Britain’s towns has darkened over the last five years, a study has discovered.

In 481 post cities and London districts over Britain, the Halifax Key Worker Housing Review monitors home affordability for consumers for five groups of public sector workers – nurses, teachers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics.

Only 14% of towns with averaged priced home is affordable for the average public sector worker to buy, the study has revealed. In comparison, the average house in 2012 was estimated to be affordable in 32% of towns.

Halifax said the drop since 2012 reflects the home prices increase that was bigger than the earnings growth for public sector workers.

Despite the decline in recent years, the situation progressed compared to data ten years ago, Halifax said.

In 2007, places in just 6% of boroughs were judged to be affordable for key workers.

The study examined average house prices with local average earnings of essential workers. Houses were considered unaffordable if they take more than four times wages. Halifax said the home price-to-earnings estimate was based on a single income.

Only five of the ten most affordable towns in Britain for the major workers are in Scotland, the study revealed. On the other hand, Bootle and Nelson in the North West of England are the cheapest towns in Britain for all key workers, the research added.

Martin Ellis, a housing economist at Halifax, said: “Nationally, there have been improvements in the ability of key public sector workers to purchase their own home compared to 2007, at the peak of the last housing boom.

“More than one in 10 (14%) towns are now deemed affordable compared to just 6% a decade ago. The greatest concentration of affordable housing is found in towns in northern England, Scotland and Wales. However, there are significant affordability issues for key workers particularly in London and the South East.

“Over the last five years, there is clear evidence of a link between pay and the impact on affordability with house prices significantly outgrowing the average wages of key workers.”

The most affordable towns in Britain for key workers, followed by the average house price-to-earnings ratio, according to Halifax:

1. Bootle, North West, 2.86

2. Nelson, North West, 2.88

3. Grangemouth, Scotland, 2.92

4. Kilwinning, Scotland, 3.06

5. Lochgelly, Scotland, 3.11

6. Accrington, North West, 3.19

7. Wishaw, Scotland, 3.20

8. Peterlee, North East, 3.25

9. Aberdare, Wales, 3.34

10. Clydebank, Scotland, 3.39

The ten least affordable towns in the study, followed by the average house price-to-earnings ratio:

1. Camden, London, 17.35

2. Westminster, London, 16.75

3. Richmond, London, 16.59

4. Pinner, London, 16.14

5. Leatherhead, Surrey, 15.54

6. Islington, London, 15.24

7. Sevenoaks, Kent, 15.19

8. Richmond upon Thames, London, 15.17

9. Wandsworth, London, 14.90

10. Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, 14.66