Public sector workers priced out of housing market

A sad nurse

Five out of six public sector workers, including policemen, teachers, healthcare assistant and firefighters, can’t afford a mortgage on an average price house in England (at £224,731), new research has revealed.

In some parts of England, such as Brighton and St Albans, no public sector workers can afford to buy a property on their current pay, according to research by SellHouseFast.


Healthcare assistants are the group most adversely affected by rising house prices, unable to afford a mortgage on an average house in any region in England. In outer London, they would only be able to buy a quarter of a house – even allowing for pay including London weighting. In the South East, they can only afford a mortgage on a third of a house, while in Yorkshire & Humber, healthcare assistants have enough pay for just 50% of a property.

Policemen, nurses and teachers are a little better off, with enough money for an average mortgage for a third of a house in London.

Doctors are the only public sector workers who could afford a home in England. However, they still fall short when it comes to living in the capital, where they can only afford 51% of a home.

The North West is the most affordable region, with policemen and teachers almost being able to afford the average mortgage, at 95.95% and 93.95% affordability respectively. Healthcare assistants can afford 64.85% of a home, while doctors are a comfortable 263.75% over what they need to afford a mortgage in this region.


Robby Du Toit, director of SellHouseFast says: “Unsurprisingly, public sector workers, who work extremely long hours for little pay, cannot now afford to buy an average property in England. Despite doctors having a larger pay bracket than the likes of teachers and police officers, they too can only afford half of a home in London. Something needs to change. Public sector pay must rise substantially in line with house prices.”

SellHouseFast looked at the typical pay data on each public sector profession. They used the most up-to-date data from sources, such as Agenda for Change pay rate at, from the Fire Brigades Union and for the Met Police. Then it matched up how much they could afford by taking the standard salary for fully qualified professionals in each job and calculated the maximum affordable mortgage through three different, reliable mortgage calculators, then averaged the figure for fairness .It then compared this with the average house price in each area, using ONS data from the latest House Price Index report for April 2016.A percentage was then calculated using these two figures; the average house price for an area and the maximum mortgage affordable for each job.

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I was surprised by this article.  In particular the statement that public sector workers work long hours for very little pay, the implication being that private sector workers work shorter hours for more pay.
Official government statistics show that public sector workers are relatively well paid earning 14.5% MORE than private sector workers.  Also private sector workers have to fund a bigger percentage of their pension contributions than public sector workers most of whom have highly subsidised pension arrangements which makes private sector workers even worse off.
The article seems to be part of a propaganda campaign on behalf of well paid public sector workers.  Perhaps we can have a properly balanced article which looks at what percentage of private sector worker scan afford to buy a house, expecially given the fact that they earn quite a lot less.

This article is misleading nonsense.  The methodology is fundamentally flawed by using average house prices, a totally meaningless statistic. Regional averages are skewed by large very expensive properties, whereas the number of below average cost houses is proprtionately much larger. Furthermore the national average house price is rendered utterly meaningless because of the effect of the London market.
Both the mean price (that at which 50% of the prices fall below it) and the modal price (the price at which the highest number of sales takes place) are more relevant, although the lower quartile price is perhaps the most informative in making this kind of analysis.
The biggest flaw however is the apparent financial assumption of affordability based on a first-time purchase requiring a minimum deposit and maximal mortgage.  In fact, by definition, a very significant proportion of average cost houses are bought by second or third time buyers who have often built up substantial equity when they buy at this level.
Thirdly the analysis appears to have taken account of household relating to a single earner only, whereas another article on the site  shows that over 60% of buyers are dual income couples.
Writing nonsensical articles like this does no one any favours.

These report are always skewed in favour of the people not on minimum wage. They always go on abaout average wages, what is that supposed to be now, £27'000 or there abouts. Well that means that over 12 million peple on minimum pay can't afford rent or mortagage does it not. After all minimum pay, or "the national living wage" as they are now calling it, at £7.20 per hour brings in just £14'976 per annum  before tax and ni. So for 40 hours per week somone in the private sector in retail, catering and many othe jobs with come home with around £13700 only to be told that people on more than double what they are earning are truggling and need their taxes to help them. This country still practices tha stupid, inefficent class behaviour of the past where the poorest keep the richest. It would be much better for the country if the majority was better off and had more spending power. To my personal knowledge, having worked my way up to concession manager in the big stores in Bournemouth, I know that a manager in retail ususally gets no pay at all for overtime which can be thrown at you without notice. Meaning if your contract if for 39 hours per wekk and the store you are in decides to open late for a sale event you will have to stay, sometimes until closing time even if that means you have to get a taxi hme because you have no transport and the last bus is gone, and you will get no pay at all for this extra time. You will be expected to hope you can take it back as lieu time which rarely happens. When I left my job in the BIg stores to go and work for a local chai]rity they owed me 58 hours which I was never paid for. And I am not the only one. Nobody has ever taken this pracitce seriously because it is rich people who own the concessions and the stores. And most of them are tax evaders in some way. Obviously moneywise is only interested in what they see as middle class and up because they never report on people on truly low incomes who are the majority still.