Little hope of a home for public workers
OWNING a home has become “virtually impossible” for many public sector workers, as wage rises fail to keep up with soaring house prices and rents, says a report.
Research by Unison found that a down payment on a property would take decades to save for by public sector staff – and more than a century in parts of London.
After the pay of NHS cleaners, teaching assistants, librarians, nurses and police community support officers were studied, a report found that it would take at least 14 years to save a deposit for a first-time buyer in England, Wales and Scotland.
In London’s Kensington and Chelsea, it would take 132 years.
The report, Priced Out, said an NHS cleaner in London earning £21,786 a year would need to borrow an average of 16.5 times their salary for a mortgage to buy their first home.
A teaching assistant on £19,446 in the south-east of England would have to borrow 11 times their annual wage.
Unison said obtaining a mortgage was now “completely unattainable” for some public sector workers.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Deposits and mortgages are quite simply way out of reach, while the spiralling cost of renting is eating up a growing proportion of take-home pay.
“Wage rises haven’t kept pace with soaring house prices and rents, and the situation looks set to worsen.
“Decisive, creative and responsible action is needed.”
A Government spokesman said: “Last year saw the highest number of first-time buyers for over a decade. Through our Help to Buy scheme and the cut in stamp duty for first-time buyers we are helping restore the dream of home ownership.”