Lewisham disposable income ‘rising faster than anywhere in UK’

"Hipster" style bar. Photo: Ania Mendrek

“Hipster” style bar. Pic: Ania Mendrek

Lewisham and Southwark have seen the highest increase of disposable income in the UK, according to statistics released by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young. Disposable income per household, per annum, rose 5.3 per cent in the two boroughs in 2014, over ten times the national average.

Disposable income in Lewisham and Southwark, defined by UHY as “the amount of money a household has left to spend or save after taxes and mortgages or rent is taken into account,” now stands at £20,756 per household in the boroughs. However, the second-fasted growing area around Kensington and Chelsea had £45,988 per year to spend – over £25,000 per year more.

The firm suggested that “‘hipster’ style pop-ups, rooftop bars, and mini-breweries” are attracting people with greater disposable income to south London. “Large numbers of higher paid professionals are moving into Elephant & Castle, Peckham and Bermondsey as the area is transformed from one of the most unloved and reviled areas of Central London to one of its trendiest hot spots,” says the report.

A spokesperson for the accountancy firm admitted that they had not analysed the demographics of the different areas. The statistics were reached through compiling government data. According to the report, 2014 was the last year available for analysis.

Government statistics from last year indicate that Lewisham is in the top 20% of the most deprived local authority areas in the country. A spokesperson at Lewisham Foodbank says that this data doesn’t reflect their experience.

“Sadly we have not seen a drop off in our usage; we are as busy as ever,” she said. “Over the last few years demand for our service has risen steadily.”

Coventry was ranked by the accountancy firm as the area with the fastest falling disposable income, with a -4.3 per cent drop from 2013 to 2014.

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