Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK

Can we get London loans now?

Reports have finally confirmed what we all knew anyway. Oxford is officially the least affordable city in the UK, with house prices being almost 11 times more than the average wage. London didn’t even come second, despite have prices being just over 10 times more than the average wage.

The top five least affordable cities are:

  1. Oxford
  2. Winchester
  3. Greater London
  4. Cambridge
  5. Bath

According to the Lloyds Bank Affordable Cities Review, which compared Halifax house price data with average earnings in 61 cities, affordability worsened from 6.2 to 6.6 times gross average annual earnings. The last time it was this high was during the housing boom of 2008, when the ratio of house prices to earnings reached 7.2.

It might be pretty but it’s gonna cost ya.

When people who work full time are barely able to afford these cities why should only London students get extra loans so they can afford to live? It’s about time the Government realised that students are struggling to live and are having to choose to go elsewhere for Uni, or not even go at all.

Oxford University even publish living costs on their website stating that the cost of one full year in Oxford with the cheapest accommodation is at least £5,627, and the most expensive being £8,006. The maximum student loan currently is only £4,047, nowhere near enough to even cover accommodation let alone books, food, bills etc.

The cheapest halls at Brookes are £107 per week which at a minimum contract of 46 weeks is still £900 more than the maintenance loan.

Peasant Crescent - at least it's sort of cheap....

Peasant Crescent

Second year English Language and Communications student Russell Sheldrake told us: “I work up to 3 days a week which is all my course will allow and my earnings every month still don’t cover my rent.”

Next year students might have it a bit easier with the loan being raised, but that’s because they have scrapped maintenance grants, so the poorest students have to pay back even more. And even with the slight raise it still isn’t enough, if your family earns on average £40,000 a year that means that you will get £6,434 in loans to live on for a year and we all know that isn’t enough. If you study in London, you’ll get £8,904.

And it’s not just housing costs we have to worry about. The average cost of a beer in Yorkshire is only £3.15 but in Oxford it’s £3.56. That 41p might not seem like much, but it adds up.

That’s all without thinking about bills, it’s well known that students don’t like putting on the heating until they really have to, because we just can’t afford it. That’s not just bad for our health but it’s also bad for a house and can lead to an increase in mould and other issues.

Basically if you’re coming to uni in September in an expensive city you better have a big savings account.

Instead of being all doom and gloom though, here are some great ways to earn some extra money while you’re studying.

  1. Do a clinical trial… there’s only a little risk involved.
  2. Get a part time job… but don’t expect the national living wage until you’re 25.
  3. Get your mum to come to bridge and buy all your drinks

And the best way to save money? Buy a lot of jumpers.