It’s of no great surprise that Britain’s residential property wealth is now over £4 trillion but what is surprising - to me at least - is the skew in how that wealth is distributed.
Some interesting facts have just been unveiled on this by Savills’ research department; they will get little publicity in a media world obsessed more with prices than true wealth, so here are some of them. The facts are from Savills - the gratuitous asides are from me:
Net residential wealth, ‘owned’ by individuals rather than mortgage lenders, has risen from £1.4 trillion to £2.9 trillion in 10 years, and accounts for 70% of UK housing stock;
Homes valued at £500,000 or more account for just 5% of the stock volume but about 18% of the stock value;
In 2010, residential property in London and south east England accounted for 25% of the total stock of the UK but 35% of its value;
Housing stock in London is worth £750 billion, more than the combined value of the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Tyne and Wear, South and West Yorkshire, despite having 30% less stock. (This demonstrates why so many estate and buying agents concentrate on London and almost ignore all other parts of the country);
People under 35 hold just 5% of UK housing equity, those aged 35 to 45 hold 12%, and those aged over 45 hold a whopping 83% of UK’s total residential equity (which would account for why the retirement housing sector is so competitive - and ruthless in parts);
Owner occupied property is typically more valuable than rental property. Across the UK some 70% of homes are owner-occupied but this accounts for 82% of the value.
Anything surprising there in principle? Probably not. But the degree of the skews toward London and the south east, and towards older owners, may raise some eyebrows.
Get used to it - with spending cuts hitting jobs and incomes far more in the Midlands, northern England, Scotland and Wales than in London and the south, this picture is likely to become familiar in the next few years.
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