Salary Survey Results: What are UK property professionals really earning?

RICS poll puts average sector-wide base salary at £52,362 as gender pay gap widens to over £11,000

2016 was a “robust” year for salaries in the UK property sector, according to the industry’s biggest survey of rewards and attitudes, although the gender pay gap actually appears to be widening.

The annual study of surveying professionals – carried out by the RICS and recruitment firm MacDonald & Co and now in its eighteenth year – was based on 8,463 responses from all corners of the industry.

According to the results, the average base salary for a UK-based property pro currently stands at £52,362, down 4.5% on last year, with the average in London now at £61,141 (that decline looks to be down to an increase in the number of respondents with entry level positions).

The average bonus decreased to £11,604 (2016: £13,558), with the biggest bounties seen in the Financial Institution/Fund/Asset Manager (£29,520) and Developer/Property Company (£19,549) sectors.

The average pay rise over the period was recorded at 7.2%, up from 6.5% in the previous year.

In the realm of estate agency, the average base salary came out at £38,929, with an average bonus of £20,835. Nearly half of agents (46%) said they expected their salaries to remain unchanged over the next year, with 26% expecting a fall (the industry average was 10%).

Fund Management, Construction Management, Business Support and Debt Investment are where you’ll find the big bucks; all four disciplines recorded average salaries of £80k+.

The RICS described as “disheartening” the findings that male property professionals currently earn, on average, over £11,000 more than their female colleagues (£54,931 versus £43,818), up from an average of £7,000 in 2016. The gap is greatest in the 46–55 age range, where the difference in average salary is 25.7%, while the 18-22 age range has seen something of a turnaround from last year, with females now earning slightly more than males.

Here’s some of the other takehomes from the 2017 survey:

  • 46% of respondents have 16 years’ experience or more in their chosen discipline, versus 56% last year. The respondents with up to 4 years’ experience demonstrated the largest growth, up from 14% to 19% from the previous year.
  • Respondents working in Greater London continue to earn, on average, the highest salary (£61,141) and command a premium of 15.5% over the South East and 41.0% over Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland. The majority of regions have seen a year on year decrease in average annual salaries, however East Anglia (+3.4%), South West/Wales (+2.6%) and Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland (+1.4%) have seen a year on year growth in average salaries.
  • Overall 32% of respondents received no change in base salary. Of the 67% that received an increase in base salary the average increase was 7.7%. 1% of respondents received a pay reduction;with an average reduction of 18.8%. Considering the survey sample as a whole, the industry experienced an increase of +7.2%, up from last year’s industry increase of 6.5%.
  • 67% of respondents received a base salary increase, up from 64% last year, while 32% of respondents had no change made to their base salary compared to 35% the year before. 1% of respondents saw their base salary reduced, equal to the previous year.
  • Of those respondents who received an increase in base salary, the average uplift was 7.7%; up from 7.1% the previous year.
  • The proportion of property professionals who secured an annual bonus increased to 45% this year, up from 40% last year. However, the average bonus decreased to £11,604 compared with £13,558 last year. The largest bonuses continue to be paid within the Financial Institution/Fund/ Asset Manager (£29,520) and Developer/ Property Company (£19,549) sectors.
  • At £56,054, on average, the largest bonuses were paid to Managing Director/ CEOs followed by Principal/Director/ Partners – Equity at £34,672. Bonuses awarded to Managing Director/CEOs rose 5.8% year on year.
  • The total reward has decreased from £78,085 to £72,390 (or down by 7.3%) in 2017. The total reward includes the average annual salary, average annual bonus (or bonuses) and the average additional remuneration received (e.g. commission & performance related bonus) last year.
  • Company mobile phone (68%, up 1% from previous year) is the most popular employee benefit received in the industry. Contributory pension (67%, up 4%), professional subscription/fees (66%, up 4%) and health insurance (45%, up 1%) are also popular employee benefits across the sector.
  • 82% of respondents used their full annual holiday entitlement, up 3% from the previous year. Conversely 18% failed to take their full holiday entitlement, down 3% from the previous year.
  • Of the 18% who fail to take full holiday entitlement, 24% are Partner/Director/ Principals, an additional 24% are Associate/Managers and 22% are Staff/ Surveyor/Analyst/Other. Only 5% of those who fail to take full holiday entitlement are Assistant/Negotiator/Trainee/Graduate.
  • 32% (-11%) believe their pay and benefits will be positively affected by market conditions over the next 12 months. 51% (+5%) do not anticipate any change and only 10% (+4%) believe market conditions will adversely affect their remuneration.
  • Salary is now the most important priority for property professionals, with 73% (+4%) of respondents indicating it’s important. This is followed by range of interesting work at 66% (-4%), management style at 66% (+1%) and job security at 63% (+4%). It is noteworthy that, relative to other factors, career progression is becoming increasingly important, having increased by 8% over 3 years.

OK, so here’s what everyone’s on (click to enlarge):