UK housing worth more than £7 trillion: who’s making a profit?

The overall value of homes in the UK has passed the £7 trillion mark for the first time, having grown by more than a third in the last decade – but not all areas have enjoyed the same benefit.

Housing is now worth nearly 10 times the UK government’s total annual income. So, do these figures reflect the rich getting richer, or has property growth offered a boost for everyone? We investigate which areas and homeowners have seen the most profit from property wealth in the UK. Whether you’re buying a mansion or a maisonette, you can get impartial, expert advice on your mortgage options by calling Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0808 252 7987. Housing value tops £7tn New research from the estate agency group Savills claims UK property has increased in value by 34% over the last ten years. In fact, UK property grew by £329bn in 2017 alone, breaking through the £7tn barrier for the first time. The graph below shows how property values have bounced back following the credit crunch, with six consecutive years of growth.

Growth in London finally slowing Between 2007 and 2017, the value of UK housing stock increased by £1.82tn – with 87% of this growth confined to London and the South of England. Despite the government’s ambitious targets for housebuilding, new stock only had a small impact on growth, with 81% of value increases coming from house price inflation. As ever, the capital has a lot to answer for. While London only boasts 12% (3.54m) of the UK’s homes, these account for a quarter of overall housing value. This means that housing stock in the capital is worth five times as much as Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, Manchester, Cardiff, Oxford, Cambridge and Belfast combined. There are signs, however, that growth in London is finally stalling – with several regions enjoying bigger increases in 2017.

Edinburgh tops table for 2017 Between 2007 and 2017, the top ten districts in terms of value growth were all in Greater London, with Westminster and Wandsworth leading the charge. Last year, however, only two London districts made the top 10 – Barnet and Hillingdon – while housing stock in Edinburgh and Birmingham gained the greatest value.

Landlords and mortgage-free homeowners reap rewards Landlords and mortgage-free owner-occupiers saw their housing equity grow by £1.4tn in the course of a decade. In the same period, fewer people benefited from greater property wealth. In total, landlords now own £1.3tn in equity, more than double the £0.6tn recorded a decade ago. Homeowners without mortgages hold £2.5tn in equity – 38% of the total value of all privately owned homes.

Sadly, the picture isn’t so bright for mortgaged owner-occupiers. While the average value of mortgaged homes increased over the decade, the number of these homes fell by 17%, indicating that older owner-occupiers were settling up their debts while younger would-be buyers struggled to get on to the property ladder.


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