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House Prices vs Wages: Keeping Score From The 1966-2018 World Cup

18th June 2018

As England kick off their latest World Cup campaign, we take a trip down memory lane - all the way back to 1966 - to see how house prices and wages have performed over the years.

House prices

The Three Lions had just won their first World Cup and the nation’s spirits were riding high. And it wasn’t a terrible time to get on the housing ladder.

Back in 1966 the average home cost £2,006 - that’s 106 times less than today in 2018!

By the next World Cup, just four years later, they’d doubled to £4,163. And the incredible growth didn’t slow down…

1966 - £2,006

1970 - £4,163

1974 - £9,139

1978 - £14,236

1982 - £22,685

1986 - £34,931

1990 - £57,901

1994 - £55,925

1998 - £72,469

2002 - £124,747

2006 - £176,819

2010 - £168,703

2014 - £191,669

2018 - £211,000

Wages

When Geoff Hurst secured his hat-trick to cement England the World Cup champions, the average person cheering on was earning £798 a year.

By the time England were travelling to Mexico for the 1970 World Cup, wages at home had increased by a mere 35% to £1,080.

In just four years, the average person went from having to borrow 2.5 times their salary to almost 4 times their salary.

1966 - £798

1970 - £1,080

1974 - £1,809

1978 - £3,269

1982 - £5,613

1986 - £7,551

1990 - £10,601

1994 - £12,900

1998 - £15,098

2002 - £17,576

2006 - £20,696

2010 - £22,724

2014 - £24,232

2018 - £26,500

Footballer’s wages

If you’re not a footballer, you might want to sit down for this…

Back in ‘66 top-flight football players earned around £2,288 a year. That’s about three times as much as the average person, which doesn’t sound too bad for a country that takes its football so seriously.

In the following years, wage growth was relatively modest. At the 1970 World Cup, wages had grown by 60% - slower than house prices. But a decade later the average top-flight player was earning £17,160 - five times more than the average person.

Today, Premier League footballers earn a staggering 1,136 times more than top-flight stars did back when Bobby Moore, George Best, and Pele were making history.

1966 - £2,288

1970 - £3,640

1974 - £5,304

1978 - £17,160

1982 - £39,000

1986 - £57,200

1990 - £78,000

1994 - £142,376

1998 - £371,072

2002 - £858,988

2006 - £955,084

2010 - £1,615,744

2014 - £2,300,000

2018 - £2,600,000

Much has changed since England last won the World Cup. We’ve put man on the moon, invented the internet, and we’ve seen technology transform almost every aspect of our lives.

We’ve also seen the UK housing market change dramatically. Prices have soared in the last 52 years, wages have struggled to keep pace, and the chances of getting on the property ladder today will feel a lot slimmer for young people than they did in 1966.

Perhaps it’s time to become a footballer…

World Cup Infographic - Comparing House Prices With Wage Growth From 1966 to 2018

The following sources were used to create this article:

  1. UK Housing Data

  2. UK Salary Data

  3. UK Housing Data

  4. UK Salary Data

  5. Top-flight footballers’ wages Source 1

  6. Top-flight footballers’ wages Source 2

  7. Top-flight footballers’ wages Source 3

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