If you’re a banker in London, something very bad has happened to your disposable post-housing income over the past decade.
Data from the UK Land Registry reveals that a residence purchased in Kensington and Chelsea in 2004 for £500k would now be worth £1.4m – an increase of 175% in 10 years. In the last 12 months alone, house prices in Kensington and Chelsea have risen by 18.3%.
This is unfortunate because London-based bankers like to live in Kensington and Chelsea. There is a confluence of top UBS bankers in Holland Park, for example.
Ten years ago, the average investment banker at UBS earned CHF480k, according to the bank’s annual report for 2004. This year, UBS’s investment bankers earned an average of CHF198k in the first half and are therefore on track to earn an average of CHF396k for the year.
In other words, banking pay (at UBS, and elsewhere) has fallen by 18% in ten years. Over the same period, bankers’ housing costs have risen by 175%.
After UK income tax, an income of CHF396k (£260k) amounts to £143k annually. The repayment mortgage on that £1.4m Notting Hill family home (assuming a £200k deposit and that you can actually get a mortgage) would be £7.4k a month, meaning that the average UBS banker with a modest residence close to his/her peers will be spending 62% of his take home pay on housing. Unsurprisingly, they may not feel flush with cash.