The value of privately owned housing stock in the UK has grown considerably, largely due to the equity rich regions of London and the south east, says Halifax.

What’s the latest?

The collective value of the UK’s private housing has soared by £376bn, leaving the average homeowner sitting on property wealth of £256,912, up from £187,310 in 2007.

But, nearly two-thirds of this wealth is owned by people aged over 54, according to mortgage lender Halifax.

Its latest research shows that the total value of UK homes has broken through the £6tn barrier for the first time.

The country’s private residential property is now worth £6.02tn, nearly £2tn or 48% more than it was valued at a decade ago.

Why is this happening?

The steep increase in the value of housing wealth has been driven by a combination of rising property prices and increased housing stock.

The average cost of a home has jumped by 45% during the past decade.

At the same time, the number of privately owned homes in the country has increased by 1.9m to 23.4m.

More than half of the nearly £2tn increase in value has been recorded in London and the south east, with average house prices in the capital rising by £349,629 (71%) to £579,761, while private housing stock has increased by a quarter of a million (10%).

Who does it affect?

The majority of the UK’s housing wealth is held by older homeowners, with people aged over 65 accounting for 40% of the total, and a further 24% held by those in the 55-64 age bracket.

But those aged between 25 and 34 hold only 3% of the country’s housing wealth, rising to 12% among people aged 35-44.

At the same time, while three-quarters of privately-owned properties across the UK are owner-occupied, this falls to just 62% in London.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “While more than a fifth of total property wealth is in London, lower levels of owner occupation reflect a major barrier to the property ladder with a far greater number of people renting where house prices are at their highest.

Sounds interesting. What’s the background?

The geographical distribution of property wealth is also uneven, with 68% or £3.8tn concentrated in southern regions of the country.

The value of privately-owned homes in southern England has increased more than two-and-a-half times faster than that in the north, jumping by 65% in the past decade compared with a 25% rise in northern areas.

Northern Ireland is the only region in which housing wealth has fallen, recording a 24% drop, due mainly to a house price correction, with prices 34% lower than in 2007.

Once outstanding mortgage debt is factored in, homeowners collectively have housing equity worth £4.659tn.

Homeowners in London have the highest levels of equity at an average of £360,193, followed by those in the south east at £279,590.

At the other end of the scale, people in Northern Ireland have the least equity at £97,056, while those in the north east have £106,896.

Top 3 takeaways

  • The total value of UK homes has broken through the £6tn barrier for the first time
  • Nearly two-thirds of this wealth is owned by people aged over 54
  • The country’s private residential property is now worth £6.02tn, nearly £2tn or 48% more than a decade ago

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