North-South imbalance as UK housing stock tops £6trn

A major imbalance in the growth of the nation's housing wealth has been revealed by new research.

Thursday, 7th December 2017, 10:40 am
Updated Thursday, 7th December 2017, 10:45 am
Over the past decade, the value of housing stock in the South has increased by 65 per cent  two-and-a-half times faster than in the North (25 per cent). (PHOTO: James Hardisty)

According to Halifax, the total value of privately owned UK housing stock has grown by £1.94trn (or 48 per cent) to £6.02trn since 2007 – surpassing £6trn for the first time.

In the past year alone, the value has grown by £376bn, mainly reflecting average house price growth of five per cent in the year to August.

The average value per household in the UK now stands at £256,912, up from £187,310 in 2007, representing an increase of close to £70,000 (37 per cent).

This increase has been driven by a 45 per cent rise in the average house price and the stock of privately-owned homes expanding by 1.9 million (from 21.5 million to 23.4 million). In London, the average value per household is almost half a million (£498,000) – three and a half times higher than in Northern Ireland with the lowest value of £141,681.

But the growth in values has been far from uniform across the country. In 2017, 68 per cent (£3.8trn) of private property wealth is concentrated in the southern regions, up from 62 per cent in 2007. While private property wealth in the South continues to grow, the share of wealth in the North has fallen from 44 per cent to 38 per cent.

Overall, the value of housing in southern England has increased over two-and-a-half times faster than the North – 65 per cent compared with 25 per cent – over the past decade.

More than half (55 per cent) of the £1.94trn rise in the last decade is accounted for by London and the South East. Since 2007, the average house price in the capital has increased by 71 per cent to £579,761, while the stock of private dwellings has grown by a quarter of a million (10 per cent).

Russell Galley, managing 
director of Halifax, said: “The value of housing stock has grown by close £2trn in the past decade and with the equity-
rich regions of London and the South East largely responsible, 
it highlights a considerable regional imbalance in the distribution of housing wealth.”