Comment: St Albans is home to 4,000 high earners - but can they afford a house?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 March 2019

Marshals Drive is one of St Albans' most exclusive addresses. Picture: Archant

Marshals Drive is one of St Albans' most exclusive addresses. Picture: Archant


Another week, another poll placing St Albans among the richest areas in the country.

This time the city’s been named as a high earner hotspot, ranking tenth in a countdown of British boroughs whose residents earn over £150,000.

Super-swanky Kensington and Chelsea topped the list, with 12,000 residents earning over £150k, followed by a handful of other London boroughs.

St Albans came in tenth place with a very respectable 4,000 particularly well paid residents, placing it level with Bromley, Lambeth, Merton, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Edinburgh.

Not surprisingly, it’s the capital that’s home to the majority of the UK’s highest earners – 38 per cent – according to the study of HM Revenue and Customs data by personal finance website easyMoney.

These sorts of stories – the ones featuring St Albans alongside words like “expensive” and “rich” – crop up regularly and, if our web traffic is anything to go by, we all love reading about them.

A quick scan of our recent property stories shows that St Albans was named as “the most expensive commuter town in Britain” only a couple of months ago.

Not surprisingly, the city pops up just as regularly on best places to live lists – most recently in January, when it placed ninth on the latest Halifax Quality of Life index. Rich people live in nice areas. No surprise there, then.

What would be more surprising would be a list like this that didn’t feature St Albans.

Those of us languishing on lower tax bands can find solace in the fact that the well remunerated 4,000 are in the minority, while reminding ourselves that , when it comes to property at least, even they may not be able to afford much in St Albans.

Indeed, those who only just make the £150,000 cut off won’t necessarily be living in multi-million pound mansions – after tax that stands at about £90,000, which, as we all know, won’t get you very far in St Albans.

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