ABERDEEN has seen the sharpest rise in disposable income in the UK since the recession thanks to historically low interest rates and the high price of oil, research found.
Households in the city are £2,825 better off than they were in 2007, with Brighton, Belfast, Gillingham and Medway towns also doing well in the study by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young.
On average, Aberdeen residents had £17,968 left in 2012 after taxes and mortgages or rent. That compares with £16,034 for London, which saw an increase of £2,100 as it was held back by high house prices, City job losses and banks reining in bonuses.
But low interest rates substantially cut mortgage costs in Aberdeen, while its oil industry continued to boom though the credit crunch with prices averaging more than 111 US dollars (£66) a barrel in 2012.
UHY Hacker Young partner Colin Wright said: “It is no coincidence that Aberdeenshire has the highest sales of 4x4s in the UK and a higher rate of multibillionaires per head than even London.”
However, he added that although low interest rates have bailed out the finances of many households, few people are feeling better off because real wages have stagnated.
Brighton came second in the study as media and tech start-ups looking for a ‘London-by-the-sea’ address helped disposable incomes jump £2,463 to £17,332 over the five years.
The seaside resort has been benefiting from the explosion in the app development market, offering cheaper housing and a different lifestyle for entrepreneurs looking to escape the capital.
Belfast residents saw their disposable incomes increase £2,347 to £15,104, while those in Gillingham and the Medway towns saw a £2,288 rise to £15,456.
The research shows the average disposable income for the UK’s top 40 towns and cities increased £1,761 to reach £14,068.
Nottingham had the smallest rise in the list, climbing just £1,070 to £10,834. Bradford, Leeds, Bristol and Hull were also in the bottom five.
Mr Wright said: “These figures show that these areas are continuing to struggle with the after-effects of the recession. Businesses in these cities and towns need private and public sector investment to help them catch up.”