Public sector workers struggle to afford new homes

Posted 2 August 2016 by Ben Salisbury

New research highlights how most public sector workers cannot raise a mortgage that enables them to buy a property in many English regions

Many employees in public sector jobs cannot afford to live in the area they work, according to new research which shows the affordability gap between pay for public sector jobs and its inability to keep up with rising house prices in different parts of England.

The research from shows how much of an average mortgage people in public sector jobs can afford in all regions across England. The salary of each type of job was compared to the maximum available loan they can afford to see how much of an average home in each region they could afford.

It shows that the problem is not just confined to London, with police, teachers and healthcare assistants priced out of the whole of the east, south east and south west and doctors only able to afford 51% of a home in London.

By contrast, doctors working in the North West, North East and the East Midlands can afford two mortgages at average house prices in those regions at 236.75%, 231.95% and 209.10% respectively.

Healthcare assistants cannot afford an average priced home in any region in England and can afford less than 25% of a house in outer London, even on London weighting wages. A policeman nurse or teacher can only afford around a third of an average mortgage in London, on London weighting.

Even outside of London, there are some other parts of the South East and the Home Counties, such as St Albans and Brighton, where no public sector professionals, even doctors, can afford to live.

The most affordable English region for a public sector professional to live is in the North West, with all workers combined being able to afford 118% of an average home in that region.

Overall, a doctor can afford 23.3% over the average house price in England, but a healthcare assistant can only afford 38% of an average house across all regions in England.

Five out of the six public sector professions studies could not afford to get a mortgage for the average house price in England, of £224,731.

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