Hackney suffers UK’s biggest gap between house prices and salaries

Hackney has the country’s worst salary to house price ratio       Pic: David Holt

With homes costing around £600,000, compared to the average salary of £33,800, Hackney has the UK’s worst house price to salary ratio, coming in at around 18:1.

A recent study by Emoov, found that nine of the 10 UK areas with the highest house price to salary ratios are in London. Brent, Haringey and Waltham Forest took second, third and fourth place, respectively. Purbeck in Dorset is the only area outside the capital which made it to the top 10, with houses there costing 14 times what local people earn on average.

While living costs in the capital are rising at the fastest rate – 10 times faster than in Wales and seven times faster than rents in Scotland – official data revealed that the capital’s low earners are seeing their wages grow more slowly than anywhere else in Britain.

One year on from the introduction of the National Living Wage – introduced in April 2016 to boost the pay of Britain’s poorest workers – analysis from the website Indeed (based on the Consumer Prices Index rate of inflation and the ONS’s Index of Private Housing Rental Prices) show that the poorest Londoners have seen almost no benefit from it.

Mariano Mamertino, EMEA economist at Indeed, comments: “Low paid Londoners are in a double bind. Their earnings are typically too high to have been increased by the introduction of the National Living Wage, yet their living costs are both the highest and the fastest rising in the country.

“The National Living Wage is a national minimum. This means it disproportionately benefits regions where wages and living costs are lower and does little to help Londoners whose earnings and rental costs are higher.

“London’s poorest workers already had the slowest rate of real wage growth in Britain when the National Living Wage was introduced. With few Londoners seeing any benefit from the introduction of the new minimum pay level, many will be sitting ducks as rising inflation erodes their real earnings still further.”

Hackney Council’s existing Estate Regeneration Programme will build nearly 3,000 new, high-quality homes, with more than half for council social rent and shared ownership. Its Housing Supply Programme, launched last year, will see at least 400 more built on underused council land across the borough.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, says that the only way to tackle the housing crisis and help more families access genuinely affordable homes is if the residents “share their thoughts on what they think the priorities should be”.

The consultation will run until today [May 23], before a final strategy is considered by the Council’s Cabinet later this year based on feedback from current residents.

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