Core public sector workers who are the lifeblood of Britain's schools and hospitals are unable to afford housing in 70 per cent of the UK's towns and cities on standard rates of pay, Halifax has calculated.
In what commentators view as a further sign of a worsening affordability crisis, the study shows that nurses, teachers, police officers, paramedics and fire fighters are being priced out of the market in 363 towns.
In 2002, average house prices put homes in just 36 per cent of the towns surveyed out of reach of these vital employees.
Unsurprisingly, affordability issues were most serious in London and the south-west, with key workers out of the running for buying a house in any one of London's 32 boroughs surveyed.
"Housing affordability continues to deteriorate for key workers across Great Britain," commented Tim Crawford, group economist at Halifax.
The findings could strengthen calls for more affordable housing to be built as the latest figures from Rics reveal that the rate of house price growth picked up in March for the first time in five months.
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