Housing costs lock London teachers out of property market

The Guardian is reporting that figures from the NUT show that despite receiving higher pay than those in the rest of the country, London teachers especially are struggling to afford to get on the property ladder. 

A survey of NUT members in the capital aged under 35 found that after five years of teaching, 8% were still living at home with their parents, while just 33% had managed to get onto the housing ladder. When the union asked if teachers expected to remain working in London in five years’ time, two-thirds of renters and 54% of buyers said no. Of those, 61% said the high cost of living and working in London would drive them out.

Ben Morris, spokesman for the London Teachers’ Housing Campaign, said things had changed since he first began teaching and was able to get on the housing ladder soon after qualifying. “My generation all had mortgages – we thought ‘I’ve got a secure middle class job, I can go out and get a home,’” he said. “It’s taken for granted that young teachers are living in rooms – shared housing is all they can afford. They don’t see how they can save for a deposit.” 

Figures produced for the Guardian by property firm Savills show that 62% of inner London homes are unaffordable to a couple who have both been working as classroom teachers for five years. Buying on a single salary is out of the question in 96% of the area. 

In outer London the situation is little better, with 90% of homes out of reach for a single teacher.

The figures are based on the maximum classroom teacher salary in the main pay scale – £36,540 in outer London and £37,862 in inner London, and assume buyers can raise a 25% deposit. 

For other school staff who earn less and are often on term-time only contracts, such as teaching assistants and technicians, the picture will be even grimmer.

Pay outside the capital is lower, with classroom teachers typically able to earn £32,831 after five years in the job. But lower house prices mean that in north-east England, 97% of homes are within reach of two teachers who want to buy. The figure falls to 81% in the east of England and 73% in the south-east.

In some of the country’s priciest towns and cities the problem is almost as acute as in London. In Oxford and Cambridge, Savills found just 5% of homes are affordable on a single teacher’s salary…

More at: Housing costs lock London teachers out of property market


In fairness I think this is an issue affecting far more than just teaching, but it does make you wonder how the situation can possibly be sustainable long term.

I would also question the line that everything used to be fine and dandy – I moved to London as a young graduate in the 1990s and it was many years before I, or any of my friends, could get anywhere near owning property. No doubt it is harder now, but it certainly wasn’t easy then and had to be done (for most) as a couple or group of friends together.

How do you see things developing if teachers are effectively excluded from the housing market in London?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. TW

    “I would also question the line that everything used to be fine and dandy – I moved to London as a young graduate in the 1990s”

    But it used to be much easier before Thatcher and Lawson unleashed the huge wave of house price inflation in the 1980s from which we still suffer.  London had previously, as desirable and planned by government, a declining population for around three decades.

  2. tarapriya31

    SchoolsImprove can barely afford to rent never mind buy! I’m worse off than I’ve ever been, shame doing job you love means such sacrifice

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