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Which occupation can afford the most homes in the UK's major cities?

A study of house price affordability has revealed that train drivers can afford a greater proportion of homes in the UK's major cities than other professions including police officers, teachers and social workers.

The Office for National Statistics' latest Survey of Hours and Earnings places train drivers' average annual salary at £66,320.

According to analysis of HM Land Registry data by home move comparison website reallymoving.com, this means train drivers can afford 81% of homes in Manchester, 82% of homes in Glasgow and 87% of homes in Belfast.

They can also afford over 65% of homes in both Birmingham and Cardiff.

In London, the average train driver can only afford 27% of homes. However, this is still favourable when compared to other professions.

reallymoving.com calculates that police officers could afford just 8% of homes in the capital, while sales assistants (2%), nurses (5%) and teachers' affordability levels are all well below 10%.

“Becoming a train driver may not be a profession many people consider, but in fact it is surprisingly well paid and offers a great chance of getting on the housing ladder, even in London, where train drivers can afford over a quarter of homes," says Rob Houghton, chief executive of reallymoving.com.

"Sadly, police officers and teachers now find themselves almost entirely priced out of the capital, despite the fact that they provide some of the city’s most essential services. They do, however, have a very good chance of securing a home in the regional city of their choice."

"Despite falling prices in London, the affordability gap continues to grow and is likely to do so until wages begin to show sustained increases alongside continued negative house price growth," he says. 

"For those seeking the dream of home ownership and a better quality of life, regional cities such as Glasgow and Manchester offer fantastic prospects and the opportunity to buy a suitable home within budget."

Houghton says that he expects to see outward migration from the capital continue in the short-term due to wage stagnation.

You can see the research - which provides a fascinating insight into housing affordability - in full here.

  • icon

    The first question that pops in to my head is why are train drivers paid so much? From the outside looking in. it seems to be a fairly easy job.


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