The disappearing middle class

We’ve activated gloom-mode this week to talk about what’s set to become an endangered species in the UK: the middle class.

By “middle class” we don’t mean whether you say “sofa” or “settee”: it means middle-income earners, who are increasingly being squeezed out. Over the last 30 years, the proportion of households in London described as “middle-income” has fallen from 65% to 37%. Some have moved up to the higher income bracket…but many have fallen into more precarious financial circumstances.

What’s causing this? What can the government do about it, and how can we as individuals help ourselves? And…what’s this all got to do with property?

They’re just some of this questions we answer in this terrifying – but very important – episode.

See also:

Resource of the week

This week’s resource is a fascinating map series from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

They map out housing affordability in England between 2013 and 2015, colour-coding each area to show the ratio of house prices to earnings. You can see how affordability has worsened over the last few years…and also plan your next investments by seeing the areas where there still seems to be value.

(We’re going to be looking at different measures of affordability in more detail in the next issue of the Property Hub Magazine. Click here for subscription information.)

News this week

The average tenancy in the UK lasts for 18 months, and it takes 22 days to fill an empty property – according to a study from Direct Line.

The interesting part is the regional variations – with Birmingham coming out best, as tenancies are the longest and it takes the least time to fill a vacancy.

Take a look, and see how your chosen part of the country fares.

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