On a low income? You may have to save for over a century to buy a house

Recent figures reveal the staggering gap between house prices and workers' pay

(Image credit: Getty)

'Maybe I'll have a house in, like, three hundred years...' you often hear someone joke grimly. Turns out this figure isn't too far from the reality of how long it would take to save up for a property if you are on lower pay. 

According to new research by Housesimple.com, people in important but low-paid jobs such as waitering, care work, and cleaning would need to save for about 100 years in order to be able to afford the average UK property, which costs £226,351.

Living in London or the South East puts people in low paid jobs at double the disadvantage: they would have to save up for a ludicrous 320 years to get on the property ladder in the capital. 

Nor are things looking much better for people who work in emergency and critical services. Nurses would have to save up for an average of 40 years to buy a house, and firefighters, primary school teachers, and paramedics around 30 years. 

While these figures are grotesque and useful mainly for illustrating the widening gap between pay and house prices, they reveal the depth of the housing crisis, too.  

Sam Mitchell, CEO of Housesimple.com comments, 'Clearly, no one is going to be saving for 100 years to buy a property, but these illustrative figures do provide a stark picture of the struggle many buyers working in low paying, but essential jobs face when it comes to buying a home. 

'Of course, there are many areas of the country where house prices are nowhere near the UK average of £226,351 and will be within reach of people on lower incomes. But what about those people who are working as cleaners, cooks, hairdressers, in parts of the country such as London and the south, where house prices have boomed since 2008? 

'These services are still essential, but the wages don’t reflect the higher cost of living. For many of these people, they are either looking at a lifetime of renting or relying on help from family members to even consider getting a foot on the ladder.'

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.