Could your favourite soap star afford a property in their on-screen neighbourhood?

Getting a foot on the property ladder in this day and age is no mean feat and it seems that getting a mortgage on TV would be just as tricky for some of the nations favourite soap stars.

Warren Lewis
7th February 2019
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New research by One 77 Mortgages has looked at whether characters from UK soap operas would be able to buy in their on-screen neighbourhood in the current market climate.

The research analysed the price increase of each character's property from the time they joined their respective soaps to the present day. They then looked at the occupation and average earnings for each character before comparing it to the salary required to secure the average mortgage at 4.5 times the property’s current value less a 10% deposit.

Ian Beale has been a firm favourite on Albert Square for years and in the process has held a number of occupations. When he first moved to the square in 1985 a property in the area would have cost £65,000 on average. A 1,042% increase since then means despite his inconsistent professional life, Ian’s sitting on £743,000 worth of bricks and mortar.

However, with the average small business owner taking home around £29,000 a year, Ian would be pretty shy of the £148,609 minimum income required to secure a mortgage if he was to buy the same house today.

Charlie Fairhead has been in Casualty since 1986 and in that time, the average semi-detached house price in Bristol has increased 982% from £43,845 to £474,225. Despite his commitment to the NHS, Charlie’s modern-day wage of £26,252 means he would be priced out of the market by over £68,000, with his annual income having to hit £94,845 in order to be accepted for a mortgage.

Since joining Emmerdale in 1986, Eric Pollard will have seen the price of his detached house in Arncliffe increase by over 2000%. However, if he was looking to buy today, the average income of a B&B owner wouldn’t cut it, with Eric nearly £63,000 short of the £91,937 income required to secure a mortgage.

The longest-serving member, Christine Barford of the Archers, would have been on about £54,000 as a stable owner before she retired. Having bought in 1953 for just over £2,000 the price of a detached home in Cutnall Green would have increased by 21355% today! But if she was looking to buy today, she would still be short over £44,000 of the £98,992 she would need to earn to secure a mortgage.

The same goes for Tony Hutchinson, Ken Barlow, Jac Naylor and Hywel Llywelyn, who would all be priced out of their respective local markets if they tried to buy today.

In fact, just Jimmi Clay would be ok with his GP salary of just shy of £70,000 when securing a mortgage on a terraced house in Birmingham B29.

Of course, this research is just a bit of fun and in many cases mortgage affordability would be bolstered by a partner or spouses’ income, but it does raise a more serious issue. Regardless of property type, profession and location, there is a huge disparity between the price of UK property and the wages on offer and it highlights the struggle facing many aspirational buyers today when trying to secure a mortgage."Alastair McKee, Managing Director of One77 Mortgages, commented: “Unfortunately for our best-loved soap stars, the cost of getting on the ladder today would see many of them resigned to the rental sector. Luckily for them, they took that first step when prices weren’t as high and as a result have benefited from some very healthy price growth across the board.

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