Monthly Earnings Fall Behind Monthly Rent in UK

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The cost of renting a two-bedroom flat in London has risen by over a quarter between 2011 and 2017, whilst average monthly earnings have risen by just 9 per cent.

A new study by the GMB union found that average monthly rents in London have reached £1500. Across the rest of the country, the average monthly rent went up by 18.2 per cent between 2011 and 2017. This brings the average two-bedroom flat to £650 per months.

However, according to the GMB union, the average rent rise in London was disproportionate to the rest of the country, at 26 per cent. However, whilst rents are rising extremely quickly, the GMB union suggested that the key issue might lie in the failure of employers to recognise this, and raise wages accordingly to ensure that employees do not lose out.

Greenwich stood out as the London borough where rent has gone up the most, having increased by 50 per cent to an average £1,350 a month. In contrast, monthly earnings of local people have risen by 7.2 per cent. Meanwhile, in Lambeth, average wages have risen by 0.8 per cent however, shockingly rent has risen by nearly a third.

GMB London regional secretary Warren Kenny argued that, since it appeared that high rents were ‘here to stay,’ employers need to consider paying ‘much higher wages’ in order to help workers keep up with swiftly growing rents.

He said: ‘If employers don’t respond with higher pay they will face staff shortages as workers, especially younger people, are priced out of the housing market. It makes little sense for these workers to spend a full week at work only to pay most of their earnings in rents. There is no alternative to higher wages to pay these higher rents, plus a step change in building homes at reasonable rents.’

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