Cost of living latest: How much you 'need to earn to be happy'; region sees house prices slump 60% more than average (2023)

Key points
  • House prices drop 2.4% in year to July - and will continue to do so into next year, Halifax says
  • One region sees house prices fall 60% more than average - another avoids slump altogether
  • Heading school uniform shopping? Here are some deals to look out for
  • Here's how much Britons need to earn to be happy
  • Bank drops heavy hints on where interest rates could go | Ed Conway
  • Use our spending calculator to see which prices have gone up or down
  • Live reporting by Jess Sharp


Got a cost of living story? WhatsApp us

Do you have a cost of living story to share? It could be about your own struggles, or something positive happening in your community, or an unusual security measure being taken to stop shoplifting.

Whatever it may be, you can get in touch via WhatsApp here.

By sending us your video footage, photographs or audio you agree we can publish, broadcast and edit the material.


Woman, 80, wins landmark DWP court case over 12-year state pension underpayment

An 80-year-old retired woman has successfully contested the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over a 12-year underpayment of her state pension.

Daphne, one of numerous married women entitled to a 60% pension increase based on their husband's payments upon his retirement, claimed this should have been automatic since March 2008. Before this, women had to request the enhancement despite applying for their state pension.

Daphne, who began receiving £38.66 per week at her 2003 pension age, should have seen her pension rise to 60% when her husband retired in 2008, The Mirror reported.

Former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb noted that many women were unaware of the need to make a secondary pension claim for the uplift. Several women could only retroactively apply a year, possibly missing out on years of higher payments.

Daphne, residing in Woking, Surrey, with her 80-year-old husband Tim, triumphed in her case against the DWP, securing her missing pension, interest, and compensation.

She said: "When I first found out... I was surprised and puzzled. It was their mistake, not mine."


Consultant doctors planning to strike next month

Strikes have been announced by the British Medical Association on 19 and 20 September.

They will go ahead if the government continues to "refuse to agree to pay talks" and come forward with a credible offer, the BMA said.

(Video) Why Home Prices Haven’t Crashed...Yet

It added that following a two-day strike last month, it had written to the health secretary inviting him to discuss pay and reform of the doctors' pay review body.

Consultants in England are already planning to take industrial action on 24 and 25 August.

Dr Vishal Sharma, BMA consultants committee chairman, said: "No consultant wants to take strike action but unless we take a stand, we risk losing our most experienced doctors, putting the very future of the NHS at risk.

"It's not too late to avert these strikes and we call upon the health secretary to meet with us urgently."


Ocado ramps up same-day delivery options as turnaround efforts continue

Ocado is gearing up for an expansion of its same-day delivery services in response to mounting pressures from its part-owner, M&S, for a noticeable revival.

While the online food retailer currently provides same-day delivery options in most regions across the UK, the scope of availability is limited to a few thousand slots each week.

The strategy is anticipated to concentrate on encouraging customers to opt for larger deliveries within the same-day timeframe, rather than just last-minute ingredients that are typically associated with delivery apps.

Hannah Gibson, who took over Ocado Retail in September last year, has been entrusted with the responsibility of boosting the business and is understood to see same-day delivery as an area where improvements can be made.

However, according to The Telegraph,M&S insiders are watching closely - since the economics around rapid delivery have so far failed to add up.


Boxes of 'wonky' veg more expensive than fresh produce at major retailers - report

Vegetable box companies are charging customers more for "wonky" produce than fresh goods at supermarkets, according to The Telegraph.

The packages typically contain products major retailers cannot sell due to them being misshapen or shops having excess supply.

A box from one of the most popular companies was reviewed by Telegraph Money and cost £17.49, plus a £1.49 delivering charge.

It said it included:

  • A punnet of grapes

  • A punnet of cherries

  • Two avocados

  • A packet of rocket

  • Six oranges

  • Five salad tomatoes

  • A romaine lettuce

    (Video) Top 10 Cities to Buy CHEAP HOUSES (less than $100,000)

  • A sweetheart cabbage

  • 10 potatoes

  • Nine Granny Smith apples

  • A butternut squash

When we checked Aldi for a price comparison, the same items (minus three Granny Smith apples because they weren't available) came to £13.

For a trip to a convenience store, a vegetable box might prove to be a closer price match, as smaller shops often have higher prices.


Buyers leave London to escape soaring mortgage costs

A record number of first-time buyers are leaving London as they strive to step onto the property ladder - driven by the challenge of steep mortgage rates.

According to insights from Hamptons estate agents, a typical new buyer placing a 15% deposit can now secure an annual saving of £8,656 on mortgage repayments by relocating away from the capital, The Telegraph reports.

This year, nearly one-third (30%) of individuals who are leaving London are doing so with the primary aim of getting onto the property ladder – marking the most substantial proportion recorded since Hamptons began keeping records in 2007.

This percentage has more than doubled compared to a decade ago when it stood at 12%.

Increasingly elevated mortgage rates are prompting potential buyers to move away from London, where property prices rank as the highest across Britain.


Cost of living pinch hits festival - as performers say rising expenses are a barrier

By Katie Spencer, arts and entertainment correspondent

It's the great comedy debate.

With performers at Edinburgh's Fringe feeling the pinch from rising accommodation, food and fuel costs, has the festival become elitist?

"There's a definite economic barrier," comedian Paul Chowdhry told Sky News.

"Most of the people I speak to, throughout the years, say it's a very middle-class white industry. You very rarely see diversity in or at the Edinburgh Festival."

Simon Brodkin - the man behind Lee Nelson - agrees: "Great talent is going to be overlooked simply because of the costs involved, and I think it is unfair."

Another barrier, according to stand-up Bilal Zafar, can be the deals struck with some venues.

But it's not just performers this year who are struggling. Promoters Assembly have presented shows at Edinburgh with some of the biggest names in comedy since 1981. It represents around 20% of the entire Fringe and its future is hanging in the balance.

Owed £1.2m for the work it did during Coventry's City of Culture celebrations from a trust which in February entered administration, the group's founder says they're only here now because they've taken out a massive bank loan to get through the festival.

(Video) Top 10 Cities where Home Prices WON'T Crash in 2023 (BUY NOW?)

If they can't get that money back, William Burdett-Coutts, their artistic director and founder, says he can't see how they'll be here next year.


Tesco expands mark-down section to 300 stores

A move by Tesco to help customers find yellow sticker food items more easily has been expanded to 300 stores across the UK.

The marked-down sections, easily recognisable by their "reduced in price, just as nice" signs, have been designed to help shoppers find bargains and cut down on waste.

Salads, meat, bread, and sweet treats close to their expiry date can usually be found in the sections.

"At Tesco we have no time for food waste and we do everything we can to reduce it," said Claire Lorains, the Tesco group quality, technical and sustainability director.

"Our customers are always on the lookout for great value food, and our rebranded ‘reduced in price, just as nice’ signage makes it easier than ever to spot a short-dated and top-quality bargain."

The supermarket chain initially introduced the sections after the majority of shoppers said they would purchase more yellow sticker products if the area they were placed in looked nicer.


Clintons looks to close fifth of shops to avoid insolvency

Clintons is planning to close around a fifth of its stores in an attempt to stave off insolvency.

The card retailer has introduced restructuring advisers to work on a debt-for-equity swap as it faces "acute financial distress".

Some 38 stores could close down as part of the plans – which is on top of the 156 shops it closed in December 2019 as part of a pre-pack administration.

Clintons has struggled to rebuild its finances despite the store closures – even after it cut costs and explored a merger with Paperchase in 2022.

But the merger never took off and Paperchase fell into administration earlier this year, with its intellectual property and brand then snapped up by Tesco.

Clintons' store closure plan has been designed to "avoid insolvency and be rescued as a going concern", according to documents seen by The Times. The retailer will also have "no option but to commence formal insolvency proceedings" if it does not secure a deal.


Here's how much Britons need to earn to be happy

Does money buy happiness? It's a question that has long been debated, but apparently the answer is yes, and it costs £36,945.

That's the average salary Britons need to earn to be happy, according to analysis by Raisin.

Oxford was found to be the happiest city in the UK, where the average salary was £35,448.

It had one of the highest happiness and life satisfaction ratings which, combined with a life expectancy of 88 years, gave the city a happiness index rating of 82 out of 100, according to the bank.

Winchester came in second with people earning an average of £35,942 a year, and residents recording a life satisfaction score of 80.1.

Lichfield in the West Midlands followed closely behind with a score of 75.

The average salary of the top 10 happiest cities is £36,945, suggesting people in the UK are happier if earning at least over £35k, Raisin said.

In fact, the updated data reveals Britons need to earn an extra £3,081 a year to meet the same happiness levels as three years ago.

"Whilst our research suggests money can buy happiness, this is not always the case in real life," said Kevin Mountford, co-founder of Raisin UK.

"Money does help ease the stresses of daily life and can allow you to relax more in certain areas which can go on to increase life expectancy in the long-term.

"Using the Raisin UK does money buy happiness research, can help you decide which city across the UK and country in the world to live in to be the happiest you possibly can."

(Video) Redfin just reported an Investor Housing Crash (60% DROP in Phoenix)


Heading school uniform shopping? Here are some deals to look out for

With around four weeks to go until the first day back at school, many parents will still be heading out to buy their children's school uniform.

Those with secondary school children spend an average of £422 per year on uniform, while those with younger children spend around £287, according to The Children's Society.

If you are looking for ways to curb the costs, here are some deals being offered...


The discount supermarket is offering a full school form for children aged between four and 12 for £5.

Here's what's included:

  • Sweatshirt – £1.50
  • 2x polo shirts – £1.75
  • Girl's pleated skirt – £1.75
  • Boy's trousers – £1.75

This is only available in store and while stocks last.


Like its rival Lidl, Aldi is also offering a full school uniform for £5.

Here's what's included:

  • Sweatshirt – £1.50
  • 2x polo shirts – £1.75
  • Girl's pleated skirt – £1.75
  • Boy's trousers – £1.75

The supermarket has guaranteed to match the lowest total price of its bundle uniform offer until 31 August.


You can get school uniform items (ages two -14) online or in store from £7.99.

Here's what's included:

  • Jersey school skirt – £7.99
  • Knit jumper – £8.99
  • Two-pack polo shirts – £9.99
  • Slim fit school trousers – £7.99

Unlike other retailers, prices don't vary depending on size.

George at Asda

(Video) Top 10 Cities where Home Prices will Crash in 2023 (SELL NOW!)

You can get school uniform items ages two-16 from £2.50 at Asda, both online and in stores.

Here's what's included:

  • 2x polo shirts – £2.50 - £6
  • 2x sweatshirt – £5-£11
  • 2x skirts – £7-£14
  • Trousers – £7- £13


How much income do you need to buy a 600K house? ›

How Much Do You Need to Make to Get a $600K Mortgage?
House costDown PaymentApproximate Income Required
Jun 19, 2023

Can I buy a home making 60k a year? ›

It is certainly feasible to purchase a home with a salary of $60,000 per year. Low–down–payment loans and down payment assistance programs are making homeownership more accessible than ever before for many borrowers. However, everyone's budget is unique.

How much house can you afford on $60k? ›

Considering you have good to excellent credit, 20% down payment, existing debt, and a good credit score, you can comfortably afford a $150,000 house. With a downpayment of $30,000 and 30-year fixed loan at 3%, your monthly payment will be around $715 a month including property taxes and insurance.

Can I afford a 400k house with 60k salary? ›

What income is required for a 400k mortgage? To afford a $400,000 house, borrowers need $55,600 in cash to put 10 percent down. With a 30-year mortgage, your monthly income should be at least $8200 and your monthly payments on existing debt should not exceed $981.

Can I afford a 600k house on 100K salary? ›

How Much House Can I Afford With 100K Salary? Share: A 100K salary means you can afford a $350,000 to $500,000 house, assuming you stick with the 28% rule that most experts recommend. This would mean you would spend around $2,300 per month on your house and have a down payment of 5% to 20%.

Can I afford a 500K house on 100K salary? ›

That monthly payment comes to $36,000 annually. Applying the 28/36 rule, which states that you shouldn't spend more than around a third of your income on housing, multiply $36,000 by three and you get $108,000. So to afford a $500K house you'd have to make at least $108,000 per year.

How much house can I afford if I make $80000 a year? ›

For the couple making $80,000 per year, the Rule of 28 limits their monthly mortgage payments to $1,866. Ideally, you have a down payment of at least 10%, and up to 20%, of your future home's purchase price. Add that amount to your maximum mortgage amount, and you have a good idea of the most you can spend on a home.

How much house can I afford with $1400 a month? ›

Deciding how much house you can afford

Joe's total monthly mortgage payments — including principal, interest, taxes and insurance — shouldn't exceed $1,400 per month. That's a maximum loan amount of roughly $253,379.

What salary do you need for a $400 K house? ›

According to these stats, your net, or take-home, pay should be roughly between $10,500 to $11,000 per month to afford a $400,000 house. As an annual salary, that would amount to between $165,000 to $195,000 depending on your state of residence, tax filing status, and other withholdings, Walsh said.

Can I afford a $400 K house? ›

The primary factor is your income — a $400,000 purchase typically requires a salary of at least $106,000. Other important considerations include your credit score, the size of your down payment and the details of your mortgage loan, including the interest rate.

What house can I afford with a $100 K salary? ›

“Assuming other factors such as creditworthiness and debt-to-income ratio are favorable, someone with a $100,000 salary could potentially afford a home in the range of $300,000 to $400,000,” said Boyd Rudy, team leader and associate broker with MiReloTeam Keller Williams Realty Living.

How much house can I afford for $5 000 a month mortgage payment? ›

Determining how much you can afford — the 28/36 rule

Multiply $5,000 by 0.28, and your total is $1,400. If you abide by this rule, you can afford to spend up to $1,400 per month on your house, including your mortgage, interest, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and homeowner's association dues.

Can I afford a 300K house on a $70 K salary? ›

On a $70,000 income, you'll likely be able to afford a home that costs $280,000–380,000. The exact amount will depend on how much debt you have and where you live — as well as the type of home loan you get.

How much income do you need to buy a $500 000 house? ›

Generally speaking, mortgage lenders say that you can afford to buy a house that's 2.5 to 3 times greater than your annual salary. So in order to buy a $500,000 house, you would need to make at least $167,000 to meet the 2.5x income requirement.

Can I afford a 500k house if I make 200k? ›

A mortgage on 200k salary, using the 2.5 rule, means you could afford $500,000 ($200,00 x 2.5). With a 4.5 percent interest rate and a 30-year term, your monthly payment would be $2533 and you'd pay $912,034 over the life of the mortgage due to interest.

What salary do I need to afford a 500k house? ›

You need over $100,000 to afford that home, but the median household income in the region is about $68,000. It's anything but normal. The fact that we've hit a new record high is actually worth noting because it means affordability is eroding and has been coming down for some time.

How much would a 600k house cost a month? ›

Monthly Payment For a $600,000 Mortgage

Say you have a 620-credit score and get an FHA loan that requires 5% down. With a 5% down payment ($30,000) and an interest rate of 6%, you would pay $3417 monthly for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, not including taxes and insurance. For a 15-year fixed-rate loan, it would be $4809.

Can I afford a 300k house on a 70k salary? ›

The house you can afford on a $70,000 income will likely be between $290,000 to $360,000. However, your home-buying budget depends on quite a few financial factors — not just your salary.


1. Those Who Don’t Buy Real Estate Will Regret It…
2. Cops kill us more then vapes do 🙄🥷🏼 #shorts
(C Food)
3. How To Use The 2023 Recession To Get Rich
(Graham Stephan)
4. Airbnb owners are about to SELL (Massive Housing Crash Coming)
(Reventure Consulting)
5. Banks are taking people's Houses (Foreclosure SURGE)
(Reventure Consulting)
6. The Worst Housing Crash Just Started
(Graham Stephan)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

Last Updated: 09/05/2023

Views: 5792

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

Birthday: 1996-05-16

Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

Phone: +2613987384138

Job: Chief Retail Officer

Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.