Oxford house prices outstrip earnings

first_imgFIGURES RELEASED THIS WEEK reveal that the gap between house prices and average earnings has been widening in Oxford over the last ten years more than in almost any other city in the UK.London and Cambridge were the only British cities where the gap between house prices and average earnings increased more than it did in Oxford.The findings were published by the think tank Centre for Cities, in their annual Cities’ Outlook report. It was revealed that the average house in Oxford cost 16.1 times more than the average yearly salary in 2014, which was £28,860.By comparison, the average house cost 12.8 times more than an average year’s wage in 2004. The average wage in 2014 in Oxford was the eighth highest average in Britain.The Senior Economist at Centre for Cities, Paul Swinney, told Cherwell, “At £555 per week, Oxford’s average earnings are relatively high on a national level, and well above the UK city average of £501 per week.“However, its growing economy and its increased desirability as a place to live, work and invest have not been matched by any significant house building over the past decade, which has seen demand for existing dwellings reach unprecedented levels. Only two hundred new homes were built between 2012 and 2013, for example, indicating why house prices rose by ten per cent between 2013 and 2014.“Over the ten years from 2004, Oxford’s house prices rose from 12 to 16 times average earnings. As our recent report on the UK’s housing crisis demonstrated, Oxford urgently needs to find new opportunities to increase its rate of house building, or it threatens pricing workers – and the businesses that employ them – out of the city, with long-term consequences for economic growth.”Andrew Carter, Acting Chief Executive of Centre for Cities, added, “Five months out from the election, this report makes the strongest economic case yet for the next government to step up to the challenge of investing in the long-term success of our cities, and build a brighter future in which more people and places can contribute to, and share in, prosperity and growth.“The stark picture the report paints of the enormous gap in the fortunes of UK cities over ten years underlines why a ‘steady as she goes’ approach must be scrapped. We must move from thinking that bundling up new funding streams with bureaucratic delays, or simply tinkering around the edges with well-intentioned announcements, will be enough to reverse trends that are becoming increasingly entrenched.“Cities need long-term funding and strategic planning, and policies that go to the heart of addressing the key drivers of economic growth – including transport, planning, skills and housing.’’last_img