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Frugal Git

Salaries Vs Prices - Uk City Comparisons

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I'm sure this is doable from cross referencing ONS and Land Reg/Rightmove stats - but I'm intrigued as to know if this has already been done before I do it.

Inspired by just talking to a mate who lives in the South west, vs me in the South east (ish). Turns out we're on the same money after all these years - and doing the same job, similar levels of seniority etc,.

A quick check shows me that prices in his city for a similarly sized/positioned house relative to centre are 1/2 - 2/3 where I am. They are thus still awful by any normal reckoning, but a much, much better breed of awful than where I am.

Because the average salary/average house isn't necessarily a meaningful comparison any more, I'll give my stat to start.

Cambridge. Avg professional salary in my city, for say someone with 10-15 years experience in a reasonable role is seemingly 45-60K (I would say - please feel free to say it's higher so I have more ammo for a payrise!).

To buy a 3 bed terrace/semi in a reasonable central ish area in the city is now 500-750k. So not just 10-12x salary, but 10-12x a really decent salary.

Is anywhere else worse than that?

What's the best ratio countrywide? Caveat is there needs to be a decent amount of jobs available to make the stat meaningful.

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I'm sure this is doable from cross referencing ONS and Land Reg/Rightmove stats - but I'm intrigued as to know if this has already been done before I do it.

Inspired by just talking to a mate who lives in the South west, vs me in the South east (ish). Turns out we're on the same money after all these years - and doing the same job, similar levels of seniority etc,.

A quick check shows me that prices in his city for a similarly sized/positioned house relative to centre are 1/2 - 2/3 where I am. They are thus still awful by any normal reckoning, but a much, much better breed of awful than where I am.

Because the average salary/average house isn't necessarily a meaningful comparison any more, I'll give my stat to start.

Cambridge. Avg professional salary in my city, for say someone with 10-15 years experience in a reasonable role is seemingly 45-60K (I would say - please feel free to say it's higher so I have more ammo for a payrise!).

To buy a 3 bed terrace/semi in a reasonable central ish area in the city is now 500-750k. So not just 10-12x salary, but 10-12x a really decent salary.

Is anywhere else worse than that?

What's the best ratio countrywide? Caveat is there needs to be a decent amount of jobs available to make the stat meaningful.

How many people who work in Cambridge (above the age of 30-35) actually live in Cambridge. A few mates of mne live in Cambridge in that age group. All houseshare or have a very small flat. Id say 95+% of people i've worked with over that age commute in. The older ones from the near villages (which werent too expensive till 2000 or so), most the rest from Ely/Haverhill/Huntingdon/St neots.

Cambridge, unlike say, Northampton, simply hasnt been able to grew. The surburbs all stopped growing out at some point in the 70s (OK now they actually seem to be building up to the south and west of the city). So everyone has to commute in 15-20 miles. Thanks greenbelt. And its not just Cambridge greenbelt. London greenbelt forces people on sub <£100k London salaries to buy in places like cambridge.

Its a mess. To work in London you have to live in Cambridge. To work in Cambridge you have to live in ely. To work in Ely I guess you have to live in Wisbech or some other godforsaken part of the fens :lol:

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Ah but salaries aren't so much a factor, as houses are investments or savings vehicles for people that don't actually live in the house. Cambridge for example is attractive for BTL for students.

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There was a good chart that compared local average incomes to average house prices in all areas of the UK...very interesting..maybe someone could find it.....

I would agree that whole roads in certain places no longer house owner occupiers any more....the owner lives elsewhere......they are gaining from the hard work of others in places where the better paid work is.

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There was a good chart that compared local average incomes to average house prices in all areas of the UK...very interesting..maybe someone could find it.....

I would agree that whole roads in certain places no longer house owner occupiers any more....the owner lives elsewhere......they are gaining from the hard work of others in places where the better paid work is.

Doesn't do exactly what you say but there is an interactive tool on the guardian website http://www.theguardian.com/society/ng-interactive/2015/sep/02/unaffordable-country-where-can-you-afford-to-buy-a-house

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How many people who work in Cambridge (above the age of 30-35) actually live in Cambridge. A few mates of mne live in Cambridge in that age group.

The older ones from the near villages (which London greenbelt forces people on sub <£100k London salaries to buy in places like cambridge.

Its a mess. To work in London you have to live in Cambridge. To work in Cambridge you have to live in ely. To work in Ely I guess you have to live in Wisbech or some other godforsaken part of the fens :lol:

Spot on. Though the ire I'm seeing now by people who really should be in a position to buy something somewhere they'd *actually want* is finally getting a bit tasty.

They aren't HPC'ers yet - most still says 'prices only go up', but there is zero cheerleading. Just teeth gnashing frustration.

So yes - you absolutely would have to commute - so quality of life for Cambridge workers (who want to own a house but don't ) is getting worse and worse (by my measure of quality, which is time). Whereas the quality of life for my south west friend hasn't reached those levels yet.

But the pressure cooker is getting to the max for (relatively) young people now.

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Cambridge. Avg professional salary in my city, for say someone with 10-15 years experience in a reasonable role is seemingly 45-60K (I would say - please feel free to say it's higher so I have more ammo for a payrise!).

I'd be surprised if it was anywhere like that high. That is higher than the top of the pay bands for all but the most senior roles in the the University departments and most of the research science places which are the major employers locally. I know that a group leader at the Cancer Research UK or a project manager at Astra Zeneca will be on less than that. A friend at ARM is on that sort of money but is in a fairly senior role, there will be 80% of the 1000+ staff on less than that.

This is what £600k will buy you

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-36627000.html

Or fancy a 2 bed new build flat

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/new-homes-for-sale/property-53044868.html

Or a fixer upper bordering an airfield

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-50791444.html

Edited by Timak

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I'd be surprised if it was anywhere like that high. That is higher than the top of the pay bands for all but the most senior roles in the the University departments and most of the research science places which are the major employers locally. I know that a group leader at the Cancer Research UK or a project manager at Astra Zeneca will be on less than that. A friend at ARM is on that sort of money but is in a fairly senior role, there will be 80% of the 1000+ staff on less than that.

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Then we are in a bigger mess than i thought here. I was half hoping it was just me getting a raw deal.

I've said a thousand times cambridge employees need to start discussing their salaries with each other regardless of any stupid company rules because we are all getting jipped. The people i know still (first time) buying must be clinically insane then if these are their salaries.

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Its a mess. To work in London you have to live in Cambridge. To work in Cambridge you have to live in ely. To work in Ely I guess you have to live in Wisbech or some other godforsaken part of the fens :lol:

To be fair, the Ely <---> Cambridge train journey takes less than 15 minutes - it's hardly an onerous commute and if Cambridge were a real city rather than a jumped small town with a big university, somewhere within 15 minutes of the main train station would be regarded as a suburb, not a separate city unto itself.

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Doesn't do exactly what you say but there is an interactive tool on the guardian website http://www.theguardian.com/society/ng-interactive/2015/sep/02/unaffordable-country-where-can-you-afford-to-buy-a-house

It's quite fun to move the cursor around and see the graph changing. Interesting that some have a second (or even multiple) peak. I think the trouble is, even areas up north have areas that are actually quite wealthy. There was a link to disadvantaged areas on a thread recently, which analysed much smaller areas, and showed very large local variations.

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https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/reports/lmp/wpca/1929379928/report.aspx?town=cambridge

£569.40 median full-time earnings (gross) for those living in Cambridge

£574.90 for those working in Cambridge (possibly more relevant). Men earn £120/week than women which (£627.10), without wishing to gender stereotype, will be the tech premium

In 'Employment by Occupation', there are 64,300 individuals listed. Just over 10% are "managers, directors and senior officials"...our median male salary will be somewhere in the professional class below. So your 10-15 years experience individual is probably towards the top end of that bracket...I can't see they'd be on much more than a 30% premium over others who are solidly in that category...£40-45k then?

I know a couple who bought a £400k 2-bedroom flat in some Soviet style block near the hospital in the Newspeak-named "Trumpington Meadows" (there was a meadow here once upon a time). Two salaries...both in their late 20s so "ahead" of the competition...big deposit...their whole place flooded in a storm recently (like a real meadow?)

The thing about bubbles is that they don't make sense.

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https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/reports/lmp/wpca/1929379928/report.aspx?town=cambridge

£569.40 median full-time earnings (gross) for those living in Cambridge

£574.90 for those working in Cambridge (possibly more relevant). Men earn £120/week than women which (£627.10), without wishing to gender stereotype, will be the tech premium

In 'Employment by Occupation', there are 64,300 individuals listed. Just over 10% are "managers, directors and senior officials"...our median male salary will be somewhere in the professional class below. So your 10-15 years experience individual is probably towards the top end of that bracket...I can't see they'd be on much more than a 30% premium over others who are solidly in that category...£40-45k then?

I know a couple who bought a £400k 2-bedroom flat in some Soviet style block near the hospital in the Newspeak-named "Trumpington Meadows" (there was a meadow here once upon a time). Two salaries...both in their late 20s so "ahead" of the competition...big deposit...their whole place flooded in a storm recently (like a real meadow?)

The thing about bubbles is that they don't make sense.

Very interesting indeed - thanks. What a bubbly clusterf**k. I'm beginning to think that manager's resistance on paying engineers more is probably more to do with it approaching/passing their own salaries. I was certain they were all on 6 figures. Maybe that is not the case.

I guess their advantage was that being just that slightly older, they bought when the house price wasn't as nuts and are relatively comfy. Not our concern. Its time to pay up, or crash the market if you want an actual society that works.... because from what i know, the 30 somethings are getting closer and closer to just going *f£k this* now if the 'better paid' ones aren't able to aspire to more than a bedsit.

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To be fair, I've just looked up the full income tables by decile here...

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-337425

...and note that 20% of employees in South Cambridgeshire are on £51,000/year gross (compared with £41,000/year in Cambridge)...because the Science Park isn't in Cambridge. The statistical confidence is very low on those 2014 figures...but they are consistent with the 2013 figures.

As for £100,000, the figures suggest that 150,000 of those earning over £100,000 work in Inner London...and that that's around half of such people in the country. Obviously there will be more in Cambridge than most places...perhaps 3% of workers?

Based on those stats, I guess the £45-60k estimate is right for a typical employee with 10-15 years experience...and according to a couple of FOI requests, the 4,000 who may be on > £100k in Cambridge/South Cambs don't work for the council. So maybe you're right...I only get anecdotes from peers as am self-employed...

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To be fair, the Ely <---> Cambridge train journey takes less than 15 minutes - it's hardly an onerous commute and if Cambridge were a real city rather than a jumped small town with a big university, somewhere within 15 minutes of the main train station would be regarded as a suburb, not a separate city unto itself.

Which isnt much use unless you work near the train station...thanks to the university back in the day lobbying for it to be built a mile or so outside the city centre and another mile or so from most the university buildings. Same for marshall industry, same for addenbrookes, same for the science park...OK theyre building another station there, but for the time being, the train station isnt much use for the majority of Ely area commuters.

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