I recently read a report by the Yorkshire Building Society that 54% of the country has seen wages (salaries) rise faster than property prices in the last 10 years. The report said that in the Midlands and North, salaries had outperformed property prices since 2007, whilst in other parts of the UK, especially in the South, the opposite has happened and property prices have outperformed salaries quite noticeably.

As regular readers of my blog know, I always like to find out what has actually happened locally in Camberwell. To talk of North and South is not specific enough for me. Therefore, to start, I looked at what has happened to salaries locally since 2007. Looking at the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data for Southwark London Borough Council, some interesting figures came out…

Southwark

London

Nationally

2007

 £29,203

 £28,907

 £23,920

2008

 £30,014

 £30,238

 £24,960

2009

 £32,115

 £31,106

 £25,506

2010

 £31,663

 £31,533

 £26,088

2011

 £32,609

 £31,658

 £26,010

2012

 £32,833

 £31,892

 £26,432

2013

 £32,864

 £31,892

 £26,931

2014

 £32,287

 £32,089

 £27,097

2015

 £33,405

 £32,282

 £27,508

2016

 £33,561

 £32,885

 £28,132

 

Salaries in Southwark have risen by 14.92% since 2007 (although it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride to get there!) – interesting when you compare that with what has happened to salaries regionally (an increase of 13.76%) and nationally, an increase of 17.61%.

 

Next, I needed to find what had happened to property prices locally over the same time frame of 2007 and today. Net property values in Southwark are 65.15% higher than they were in late 2007 (not forgetting they did dip in 2008 and 2009). Therefore…

 

Property values in the Camberwell area have increased at a higher rate than wages to the tune of 50.23% … meaning, Camberwell is in line with the regional trend

 

All this is important, as the relationship between salaries and property values is the basis on how affordable property is to first (and second, third etc.) time buyers. It is also vitally relevant for Camberwell landlords as they need to be aware of this when making their buy-to-let plans for the future. If more Camberwell people are buying, then demand for Camberwell rental properties will drop (and vice versa).

As I have discussed in a few articles in my blog recently, the issue of ‘property-affordability’ is a great bellwether to the future direction of the Camberwell property market. On the face of it, the change between 2007 and 2017 in terms of the ‘property-affordability’ has been seismic – but of course, it isn’t as simple as comparing salaries and property prices, as that measurement disregards issues such as low mortgage rates and the diminishing proportion of disposable income that is spent on mortgage repayments… which are at a 320 year low.

The issue of a lack of homeownership has its roots in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It’s quite hard as a tenant to pay your rent and save money for a deposit simultaneously, meaning for many Camberwell people, home ownership isn’t a realistic goal. Earlier in the year, the Tories released proposals to combat the country’s ‘broken’ housing market, setting out plans to make renting more affordable, while increasing the security of rental deals and threatening to bring tougher legal action to cases involving bad landlords.

This is all great news for Camberwell tenants and decent law-abiding Camberwell landlords (and indirectly owner occupier homeowners). Whatever has happened to salaries or property prices in Camberwell in the last 10 (or 20) years … the demand for decent high-quality rental property keeps growing. If you want a chat about where the Camberwell property market is going – please read my other blog posts on http://bit.ly/FNWCambewell or drop me note via email, like many Camberwell landlords are doing.