Survey reveals 4% pay rise, but this disguises sharp dip in recent months

Salaries in the housebuilding industry have risen more than 4% in the past year, according to Building’s annual housing salary survey.

However, the latest anecdotal evidence suggests that, in recent months, salaries have dipped sharply from last year’s peak.

The figures show managing directors taking home by far the largest packages, with an average basic salary of £139,000, compared with £129,000 last year.

Many also earn another £125,000 in bonuses. Managing directors in London and the South-east can earn even more, with average take-home pay topping £163,000.

Development directors are the next best off, earning an average of £84,000, and another 50% on top in bonuses.

However, Mark Heald, director of the residential division of recruitment company PSD Group, which conducted the survey, said that the salaries given to people who had moved jobs in the past two months revealed a different picture.

He said: “The whole theme has changed because of what has happened to the economy. We are seeing people being offered 10, 15 or even 20% less than they were getting in their previous roles.”

The comments follow closures of regional offices by Persimmon and private housebuilder Antler Homes, as well as 600 redundancies in the wake of last July’s merger between Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey.

This month’s NHBC figures (attached) offer little respite, showing new homes sales down 11% and starts down 39% on last year.

The changing market has led increasing numbers to consider working for housing associations. The survey found that top housing association managers earn nearly as much as their private sector counterparts, and finance directors earn 16% more.

PSD Group contacted 1,000 senior industry managers by email for the survey.

For full analysis of the salary survey see 'Housebuilders' salary survey: Money or your life'