If you’re based in London, you stand to earn a higher wage and it’s easy to assume from this that those who live in the city must be considerably better off than their counterparts elsewhere in the country. However, research from CV Library, the UK job site, has revealed that it is in fact Londoners who have the least disposable income in the UK, thanks in part to the city’s booming property prices.
It is true that professionals in London earn significantly more than their counterparts elsewhere: CV Library’s research found that the average annual salary in London is £36,905, which is 16% greater than the national average salary of £31,625. However it seems that the £2,349 monthly salary earned by the average Londoner is far outstripped by the £3,313 they pay in living costs, meaning residents of the city accrue £964 of debt each and every month.
When comparing the basic living costs against the average salary in 16 UK cities, the research found that employees in the north of England and Scotland have much more disposable income than those in the south. Individuals living in Glasgow on average earn £2,015 per month, with basic living costs for the month averaging out at £891, meaning Glasgow workers have £1,125 of remaining income at the end of the month. In comparison, residents of Brighton tend, on average, to have £1,826 coming in and £1,348 going out, leaving them with just £478 a month in disposable income.
One of the reasons for this seems to be that the difference in property value between the UK’s cheapest and most expensive cities far outstrips the difference in wages. CV Library’s research found that a one-bed flat in Hull would cost £72,486 compared to the £544,118 it would cost in London, making property in the capital 7.5 times more expensive. However, salaries in the two cities only differ by a third, with average pay packets totalling £27,809 in Hull and £36,905 in London.
Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, explains: “The fact that Londoners struggle to afford the bare essentials is worrying and may well affect the number of professionals that choose to work in the city; other cities are starting to appear as much more appealing prospects for UK workers.”
It looks like London might struggle to retain its crown as the destination of choice for UK professionals.