Brighton and Hove has been named as the fifth least affordable place to live in the country.
House prices in the city now outperform wages by a ratio of more than seven to one, with only leafy Oxford, Winchester, Truro and Bath proving less affordable, according to figures published yesterday by Lloyds bank.
But questions have been raised as to whether house prices are the real cause for the discrepancy, or if Brighton and Hove simply doesn’t provide enough high-paying jobs.
Tracey Allen, Campaigns Manager for the Living Wage, said salaries have never ‘stayed in line’ with the increase in house prices in the city. She said: “From the work we have done on the living wage campaign here in Brighton and Hove we have learnt that it can be financially challenging to live and work here, especially if you work in certain sectors.
“Historically the city is made up of a large workforce in the tourism, hospitality and catering sectors which traditionally don’t pay as well as, for example, our growing digital sector.
“The more this ‘attractive’ city can ‘attract’ digital and other companies with higher salaries to work here, the greater spend each individual will have. In the long run this will help to support the overall commerce in the city and everyone in it.
“Sadly salaries have just never stayed in line with the increase in house prices, not unique to Brighton but we are a very exaggerated example.”
According to Patrick Kneath from Beaumonts Estate Agents in Brighton, the reason for the discrepancy is a mixture of both house prices and low salaries. He said: “People are happy to have a job at the moment and employers are reluctant to start putting up wages.”
The Office for National Statistics revealed that the average annual wage in Brighton and Hove is £28,173 a year while according to the Land Registry the average house now costs £241,871.