Who was better off?

Compare the cost of living in the UK's cities between 1995 and 2018 using official ONS and Bank of England indexes, Land Registry data and cost of living data. Shows average property prices adjusted for inflation, mortgage costs at the time and more. See who was better off.

enter the name of a UK city

select a year
select a year to compare with

Using a combination of Land Registry sold house price data spanning over 20 years, Office of National Statistics RPI (Retail Price Index) data and the Bank of England's records on mortgage rates we have produced this tool to pit to years against each other to see if people are really better off.

By selecting a city and choosing to years to compare we will find the average prices for the various property types, find the relative mortgage cost in the relevant year, extract household income and cost of living data - then - adjust for inflation to show the real costs to make comparison easy!

It is a common argument that it was easier for people to get on the housing ladder in the past. For example people graduating in the since 2003 would find it more difficult to get on the property ladder compared to someone graduating in 1995.

We can test this theory by checking what the price of a first-time buyer's likely purchase would be, the interest rate, the mortgage payment from 1995 and from 2003. Taking it one step further we can using our inflation calculator to convert those prices using RPI data so the numbers are more meaningful as they can be directly compared.

So, let's take London as an example and compare 1995 with 2003.

The result produced shows that in 1995 an average £17,000 salary is needed to by the average flat. However, in 2003 you would need £38,000. This means just over double the salary is required to get on the housing ladder on average in London is a span of eight years.

Looking further, the average mortgage payment in 1995 for a first-time buyer in London would be £625. In 2003, the mortgage payment would be £1,064. So, even though interest rates did reduce (from 8 percent to 5 percent) the monthly payment is still nearly doubled.

This tool can create comparisons such as this for hundreds of the UK's towns and cities and for any year spanning from 1995 to the current year.

You can get started above or try some of the examples below:

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Code and design by Ray Arman

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