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Spending power in Aberdeen rises at fastest rate

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 has found.

Households in the city are £2,825 better off than they were in 2007, with Brighton, Belfast, Gillingham and Medway 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, job losses and banks lowering bonuses.

But low interest rates substantially cut mortgage costs in Aberdeen, while its oil industry continued to boom through 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 Aberdeenshire has the highest sales of 4x4s in the UK and a higher rate of multibillionaires per head than even London."

However, he said although low interest rates have bailed out the finances of many households, few people are feeling better off as 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 town has been benefiting from the explosion in the app development market, offering cheaper housing and a different lifestyle for people escaping the capital.

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