instagram envelope_alt facebook twitter search youtube_play whatsapp remove external_link loop2 arrow-down2

Key workers cannot afford to buy homes

THE average nurse, teacher, paramedic, police officer or firefighter cannot afford to buy a home in 92 per cent of towns in Britain, a report has found.

Halifax looked at affordability for the five professions across 515 areas, including 31 London boroughs.

It found only 40, or eight per cent, of these areas were affordable — down from 24 per cent in 2014.

In places such as Westminster and Richmond-upon-Thames in London and Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, a home costs around 18 times a key worker’s average annual wage. Nelson and Accrington in Lancashire and Bootle, Merseyside, were best priced.

Halifax said the widening gap in affordability is due to house prices outpacing earnings growth. Average house prices rose 32 per cent from 2014 to 2019 while key workers’ earnings increased just seven per cent.

Only areas where house prices were typically less than four times average annual earnings were deemed affordable. Analysis showed 18 per cent of towns are affordable for police officers, 15 per cent for paramedics, nine per cent for teachers, five per cent for firefighters and three per cent for nurses.

Andrew Mason, of Halifax, said: ‘UK wages have not increased in line with average house prices across the UK.’