Property professionals, including surveyors, planners and architects, have experienced a chunky pay rise over the past year with an increase of 7.2% on average. That figure exactly matches the rise in house price in 2016, as measured by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
However, the survey of 8,000 people by RICS found that Estate Agents had a more difficult year – their pay actually fell by a whopping 21%.
Managing Director for the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), Mark Hayward, wasn’t surprised by the hit agents have taken this year and blamed the lacklustre average sale price and also a squeeze on fees, “40% of what they earn is commission, so that’s success-related…their basic salary, I’m pretty sure, will have remained the same”.
The NAEA claims that average fees in the UK have dropped over the past year from 1.2% of the sales price, to 1.1%.
London remains at the top of the payment table for property professionals.
The survey found that the UK’s average salary for real estate personnel was £52,362, with workers in the Capital enjoying a healthy £61,141 – a near £9,000 salary uplift.
The RICS survey revealed a large gender pay gap among those who work in the industry, with male estate agents earning more than £11,000 a year more than their female counterparts on average.
Sarah Speirs, Director of Communications at RICS, said the industry has started to take action to tackle the “disheartening” gender pay gap. She went on to say the industry “must maintain this momentum to create a more balanced workforce that attracts the best talent if it wants to remain competitive”.
Foxton CEO Nic Budden reportedly took home a juicy £550,000 basic salary last year. Including all bonuses his total pay packet may hit £2.3m compared with the £856,000 total he was given last year. Countrywide CEO Alison Platt currently has a basic of £575,000 but similarly to Budden, with all bonuses factored in she allegedly received a total package of £2.5m last year.
According to Glassdoor.com, Trainee Property Negotiator’s at Foxtons earn £23,000 and Branch Manager’s at Countrywide can take in a basic wage of £26,000. Controversial hybrid agency Purplebricks have reportedly said their ‘Property Expert’ self-employed roles earn a “salary” of £45,000 a year, asserting that “right now we have many property professionals earning in excess of £95,000 pa”.
An impressive boast, but we would like to hear the testimonials on that one…
DMZ suggest that executive salary increases should be roughly aligned with the core of the company. Top performers should be rewarded and management positions evidently carry more responsibility, obligations and consequences, but bumping up executive salaries in the midst of what is a largely stagnant market is probably not a good idea. This was made explicitly clear by the shareholder revolts at both Foxtons and Countrywide over the jumbo pay packages.
The most concerning aspect of the RICS report is the huge gender pay gap. If you’re interested in attending events on gender equality in the property industry, DMZ recommends checking out the Women In Property website or attending one of their monthly events.