Affordability of UK housing

  • Published: Nov 05, 2013

The graph below looks at the proportion of post tax income spent on housing costs, broken down by tenure. What we see, then, is that costs for mortgage holders have not risen at all. In fact, between 2006/07 and 2011/12 they fell, from 14% to 10% of post-tax income (includes all benefit income, including housing benefit). 

But rents are a different story. Renters already spent a greater proportion of their income on housing than owners did, and this proportion rose between 2007 and 2012. Private renters now spend 29% of their income on housing. For social renters, whose income and housing costs are on average lower, this figure is 25%.

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By clicking the tabs at the top of the graph you can look at some other breakdowns. We see that housing costs as a proportion of income have risen for the poorest fifth (who are mainly renters), stayed broadly the same for those on middle incomes and fallen for those on higher incomes. They have risen for under 25s and fallen slightly for those just under retirement age. Region by region, there has not been much change, but London stands out for its much higher level – housing in the capital accounts for 17% of post tax income on average. Those in the private rented sector can expect to pay much more.