Value of UK homes up 9% to �4trillion
Marquis Of Brown
mark at tlio.org.uk
Sun Jan 13 10:57:00 GMT 2008
Highlighting this extract from the article copied below from
Saturday's Guardian: >'The figures will provoke renewed calls from
campaigners and economists, who argue Britain should introduce a tax
on the value of land to prevent surges in house prices and encourage
Britons to invest in productive assets rather than property.'
Housing reports show UK homes top £4tn
Saturday January 12 2008
The total value of Britain's housing stock jumped 9% to a record £4
trillion last year and has trebled over the past decade, Halifax says
This puts all private houses and flats at a combined value of three
times the annual output of the British economy. That value rose by
£320bn last year - three times the National Health Service budget.
The Halifax's annual report presents the other side of the relentless
rise in household debt in Britain, which has increased to record
levels of more than £1.3tn.
In fact, housing equity - the value of housing assets less
outstanding mortgage balances - has increased by nearly £2tn over the
past 10 years, from £870bn in 1997 to £2.8tn in 2007.
The lender said the new £4tn value of private housing stock was 3.4
times the value of outstanding mortgage debt, which was £1.2tn at the
end of 2007. Housing assets have increased by more than mortgage debt
in each year since 1995.
Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis said: "UK homeowners have
collectively accumulated an extra £2tn of equity in their homes over
the past decade as property prices have risen. This has significantly
strengthened the household balance sheet. Mortgage debt accounts for
only 30% of the value of the UK's £4tn worth of housing assets."
The research showed that England's north-south divide held steady
last year. The total value of private housing in the south is worth
£2.2tn compared with £1.8tn in the north, but the south's share of
housing assets was unchanged at 55%.
Each region of Britain has seen at least a 180% increase in the value
of its housing stock since 1997. The biggest increases are in
Northern Ireland (404%), Wales (223%) and the south-west of England
(222%). Six regions of the UK have a housing stock worth at least
£250bn; a decade ago it was only the south-east of England.
Halifax said 36% of the value of the UK's private residential housing
assets is concentrated in the south-east of England (19%) and greater
London (17%). Scotland saw the value of its housing stock rise the
fastest last year, by 16%, followed by Northern Ireland with 15% and
the east Midlands with 12%. The smallest increase, of 5%, was in
Yorkshire and the Humber.
The figures will provoke renewed calls from campaigners and
economists, who argue Britain should introduce a tax on the value of
land to prevent surges in house prices and encourage Britons to
invest in productive assets rather than property.
In spite of the recent fuss about inheritance tax, that and stamp
duty on housing raised only £9bn last year.
Economists say that rising house prices do not make an economy richer
- they merely represent a transfer of money to the older generation
who own property, from younger people getting on to the housing
ladder and even people not yet born, who will face higher prices when
they eventually come to buy a home.
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