Owning a home has become virtually impossible for most public sector workers in Oxford, according to research recently published by UNISON. New UNISON report Priced Out shows that getting a deposit together and obtaining a mortgage have now become virtually insurmountable hurdles for workers in the public sector.
The report highlights how saving the money for a down payment on a property could take Oxford based workers decades. It would take on average 46 years in Oxford for public sector workers wanting to buy for the first time to save the necessary deposit. That same worker would need to borrow 18.3 times their annual salary to secure a mortgage for an average first-time buyer property in the city.
Given that the Bank of England’s maximum recommended lending limit is 4.5 times a person’s salary, Priced Out shows that a mortgage is now completely unattainable for the majority of public sector workers in Oxford.
UNISON is campaigning for genuinely affordable housing in Oxford and across the South East. Join UNISON today and add your voice to our call for creative, decisive and responsible action now.
Our report shows that the national housing outlook is just as bleak, with house prices predicted to continue growing faster than wages until at least 2022.
Oxford is the most expensive area in the South East for renters, where 84% of an NHS porter’s salary would go on rent, 70% of a teaching assistant’s, 67% of a refuse driver’s, 63% of a nurse’s and 61% of a PCSO’s. Spending more than a third of take home salary on housing is used as a benchmark by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in monitoring poverty, a damning indictment of the picture for renters in Oxford.
Commenting on the report, UNISON South East regional secretary Steve Torrance said:
“Owning a home is now little more than a pipe dream for most public sector workers.
“Deposits and mortgages are quite simply way out of reach, while the spiralling cost of renting is eating up a growing proportion of the take home pay of working people across Britain. Wage rises haven’t kept pace with soaring house prices and rents, and the situation looks set to worsen.
“The struggle for housing cuts across generations, jobs and regions. Employees are being forced to work further away from their jobs, and young people cannot afford to move out of the family home. This puts wholly unnecessary additional pressure and demands on our Nurses, Teaching Assistants and PCSOs in the south east as they work to deliver essential services we all rely on.
“The government has had more wake-up calls over the growing housing crisis than hot dinners. Decisive, creative and responsible action is needed now.”