Halifax: Average house becoming 'unaffordable'

01 August 2006
Key workers in nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of towns across Great Britain are finding the average house price "unaffordable", according to a study by Halifax.

The UK's leading mortgage lender commissioned the study to ascertain how the price of property compares to the average wage of five groups of people in key occupations in the public sector – police officers, fire fighters, ambulance staff, nurses and teachers.

The results showed a stark difference between today's market and that of just five years ago, when the average house was unaffordable for less than a quarter (24 per cent) of key sector workers.

"Key workers have been hit hard by the strength of the property market over the past five years," said Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax.

"Now it is difficult for key workers to buy the average house, not only in the south of England but also in significant parts of the Midlands, northern England, Wales and Scotland."

The area worst affected for affordability is the South West, where all 34 towns surveyed showed that the average house was out of the price range of all five key worker groups.

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