Public sector workers priced out of housing market

22 July 2016

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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