Seven in 10 British workers would change their job if money wasn’t an issue

New research reveals that 68% of British workers would change their job if money wasn’t an issue, with the majority of Brits only willing to relocate for a pay rise.

Regulated property buyers, GoodMove, surveyed workers across the UK to reveal their job satisfaction in their current role1, and if they would ever consider relocating for work. Looking at average house prices in the biggest cities in the UK, GoodMove can also reveal which areas the average British worker could actually afford to relocate to.

Looking at the results of the job satisfaction survey, seven in 10 (68%) of British workers said they would change their job if money wasn’t an issue to them, while just 14% said they definitely wouldn’t.

Looking at the reasons why Brits may decide to relocate, the majority (35%) said they would relocate for a pay rise. Just 7% said they’d relocate to a new area even if they weren’t getting a pay rise or promotion, suggesting that income and pay is truly the determining factor in Brits’ job and life choices.

Adding to this, the majority (35%) of respondents said their monthly income only just covers their cost of living, with not a lot left over, with one in (13%) respondents revealing their monthly income doesn’t.

So, when it comes to moving for work, which areas in the UK could Brits comfortably afford a mortgage in, based on their income?  The cost of monthly mortgage payments in the most populated areas of the UK (based a repayment mortgage with an average 10% deposit and 3% interest rate over 25 years) is:

CityAverage house priceAverage monthly mortgage repayments
London£493,443£2,106
Bristol£303,470£1,295
Edinburgh£285,931£1,221
Cardiff£221,323£945
Leeds£202,599£865
Birmingham£198,480£847
Manchester£195,628£835
Leicester£193,478£826
Sheffield£179,269£765
Nottingham£160,535£685
Liverpool£149.47£638
Glasgow£147,219£628
Belfast£140,150£598

According to ONS, the national average salary in the UK is £31,4612, which means a monthly take-home pay amount of £2,088.

Taking this all into consideration, this means that the average British worker would be able to afford a mortgage in each major city in the UK, except for London, where average monthly mortgage repayments are £18 higher than the average monthly take home pay.

However, although the average worker may be able to afford a mortgage, they may not actually be able to live comfortably on this income. According to ONS’s latest family spending report, in 2020 the average UK household budget was £1,780 a month based on an average of 2.4 people per household3.

If we half this for one person, that means it costs approximately £890 per month to live comfortably, including paying for food, bills and recreational/entertainment activities.

Judging by these stats it would be almost impossible to live comfortably in not only London but Bristol and Edinburgh too. Average monthly costs in London are a whopping £908 higher than the average take home pay, in Bristol they are £97 higher and it’s £23 higher in Edinburgh. Even in Cardiff, you’d have just £253 left over for the month according to these figures.

For the most affordable cities, head to Belfast, Glasgow, Liverpool, Nottingham and Sheffield.

Commenting on the research, Nima Ghasri, Director at Good Move says: “Job satisfaction is a huge topic of conversation at the moment, with new ways of working, including flexible hours and home working, becoming a reality for many workers after the pandemic. We wanted to discover how much pay really affects worker’s decisions to relocate, as well as looking into the areas across the UK that many workers could, and couldn’t, realistically afford to move to.

It’s interesting to see that according to average salaries in the UK, Brits theoretically wouldn’t be able to comfortable live in London, Bristol or Edinburgh. Of course, these are just average stats and average wages are higher in these bigger cities, but it’s still shocking to see.”

Author: Editorial Team

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