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Nurses only able to afford a house in 3% of towns in the UK

Nurses are least able to afford a house in the UK compared with other key workers

Nurses are least able to afford a house in the UK compared with other key workers


Buying a house is out of reach for key workers in many UK towns. Picture: iStock

Nurses can only afford to buy a house in 3% of towns in the UK, according to new research.

Conducted by bank Halifax, the research showed nurses are the least likely to be able to afford to buy property in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland compared with other public sector workers.

Halifax compared the average house prices in 515 towns, including 31 London boroughs, with the average annual earnings of nurses, paramedics, police officers, teachers, and firefighters.

Definition of affordability

Only towns where prices were less than four times their annual wages were deemed affordable.

The percentage of towns where each profession could afford to buy a house in 2019 were:

  • Nurses: 3%
  • Firefighters: 5%
  • Teachers: 9%
  • Paramedics: 15%
  • Police officers: 18%

All groups have experienced a decline in affordability compared with results of similar research carried out by the bank in 2014, when nurses could afford a house in 12% of towns.

North west England most affordable

The research found the north west of England was the most affordable region, with London least affordable.

The new research follows a report earlier this month which showed two thirds of homes to be built on former NHS land are unaffordable to nurses.

Halifax head of mortgages Andrew Mason said: ‘Over the past five years, wages have not increased in line with average house prices across the UK and this has had a knock-on impact on affordability for key workers,’ he said.


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