Key workers priced out of housing market in seven out of 10 UK towns

Public sector ‘key’ workers such as teachers, nurses, police and firefighters cannot afford to buy homes in seven out of 10 UK towns, according to a study by Halifax bank.  

Halifax divided average regional property prices by average annual wages. Of 517 towns and local authorities surveyed by the bank, 363 (70%) were deemed unaffordable – when the average price of a house was more than 4.46 times the average wage of the workers.

It said property was most unaffordable in London and the South East, but that property costs were also racing away from wages in other parts of the UK.

However, the government has insisted that it has been working hard to help key workers buy homes through shared equity and shared ownership schemes.

Public sector union Unison claimed prospects for public sector workers may worsen in the near future as the government aims to limit wage increases to below the rate of inflation.

Construction union Ucatt has called for a “radical change” in government policy to ease the housing crisis.

It wants the government to provide greatly increased funding for councils to massively increase the building of social housing. Rules barring councils from building new properties themselves must be relaxed, it said.

Alan Ritchie, Ucatt general secretary, said: “Ordinary workers and their families are crying out for good quality homes. Councils should be given the ability to build thousands more homes each and every year. They are great innovators and must become the catalyst of resolving the country’s deepening housing crisis.”

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