Low-paid workers being priced out of home ownership, study shows

House prices more than doubled between 2002 and 2016


Millions of low-paid workers including nursery nurses and carers are being priced out of home ownership in virtually every region of England, a study shows.

Research by the National Housing Federation (NHF) revealed a widening gap between house prices and earnings, especially for people in low-earning jobs.

House prices more than doubled between 2002 and 2016, while pay only increased by 38%, said the report.

Burnley is now the only local authority in England where a low-paid worker could afford an average mortgage without spending more than five times their annual income, said the federation.

House prices are now around 12 times the salaries of low-income employees, while in London and the South East, rent typically takes up more than half their pay.

David Orr, chief executive of the NHF, said: "This analysis makes for truly depressing reading.

"Low-income workers are left with fewer affordable options than ever even though their jobs are absolutely critical to local economies.

"It is these people who are keeping our communities going.

"It is crucial that we create more choice for those who are just about managing in low-paid jobs - the housing market is simply not working for people on low incomes.

"We know that the nation needs to get building again, but we need to think outside of just new homes for market rent and sale.

"Affordable rent, shared ownership and other innovative housing association products are the way to go."

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "Since 2010 government-backed schemes have helped more than 382,000 households to buy a home, and the number of first-time buyers is at its highest level for nine years.

"But we're clear that to fix the broken housing market we need to build more homes and improve affordability.

"Our recent Housing White Paper set out measures to do just that, including an expanded and more flexible £7.1 billion affordable homes programme."