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Where do UK tech salaries go the furthest?

Could the UK's tech hub map be redrawn? New data from job site Indeed

Company Profile


  • Dominance of traditional tech sector hotspots London & Cambridge could be threatened by overheating property markets, according to data from the world’s largest job site, Indeed
  • Birmingham and Cardiff emerge as the UK’s most affordable tech hubs
  • Tech sector salaries in Birmingham are 83% of those in London, while the average flat in the city costs barely a quarter of the price of a flat in the capital
  • Indeed data also spotlights that software developer vacancies outstrip candidate searches by more than 2:1

Britain’s best-known tech cities could become victims of their runaway property markets as more affordable tech hubs emerge in Birmingham and Cardiff, according to research by the world’s largest job site Indeed.

The study rated the affordability of the UK’s seven most established tech hubs by comparing average tech sector salaries in each city with the average price of a flat.

At £51,070, the average tech sector salary in London is unsurprisingly the highest, but the capital’s ballooning property prices also make it the least affordable for a tech sector professional. With an average flat in London costing £433,000 – eight and half times the average tech sector professional’s salary – home ownership is likely to be out of reach for many.

The most affordable tech city is Birmingham, where the average flat costs £120,856 – barely a quarter (28%) the price of a similar home in London – while Birmingham’s average tech sector salary of £42,268 is 83% of the London average.

Birmingham’s tech sector professionals – a grouping that includes software developers, IT managers and data scientists – are highly paid by the city’s standards too, earning 34% more than the average salary in Birmingham. A typical flat in the city costs less than three times the average tech sector professional’s salary.

Table: Affordability for tech sector professionals in the UK’s leading tech cities



City average salary

Tech sector average salary

% of London tech sector salary

Average flat price*

Flat price as tech sector salary multiple


















































*Source ONS House Price Index, August 2016

Though technology professionals’ salaries there are the lowest in the country, Cardiff and Manchester emerged as the second and third most affordable tech hubs thanks to low property prices.

By contrast the overheating property markets in Britain’s most established tech hubs – London and Cambridge – make them the least affordable cities. Recruiters there now face intense competition in the battle to attract and retain talent as the affordability gap with rival tech cities widens.

The Indeed research – which analysed tens of thousands of job adverts and the searches of millions of jobseekers – also revealed that IT manager and data scientist jobs are the most popular, with a relatively more balanced level of jobseekers’ interest with respect to employer demand. 

However it also showed that software developer roles are much harder to fill, with vacancies in this field outstripping candidate searches by more than two to one.

The data comes as Indeed launches Indeed Prime in the UK, an online career platform that provides employers with top talent based on coding skills, education and work experience. The product is specifically designed to address the growing need for technical talent in a variety of industries.

“It is increasingly competitive for companies to find the technical talent they need as companies ramp up their demand for these professionals,” said Terence Chiu, VP of Product at Indeed. “Employers who use Prime will find talent that they wouldn’t normally see through traditional university recruiting, staffing agencies and job postings.”

He continued: “Our data shows this is a jobseeker’s market, with huge demand for tech talent and simply not enough of the right candidates to fill those open roles. Indeed Prime is uncovering hidden talent gems for the top tech employers, helping to close the skills gap in an industry which continues to grow at an unrivalled pace.”