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House price rise boosts British wealth to £8.8 trillion


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Rising house prices boosted Britons' wealth to a record high last year Credit: Toby Melville/PA Wire

Britain’s total wealth hit a new record high of £8.8 trillion at the start of the year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Overall wealth increased by almost £500bn on the year, largely because of rising house prices.

That is equivalent to an average of £135,000 per person, or £327,000 for each household.

As a result households have a total net wealth – the value of their assets minus their debts – of £10.2 trillion.
















The reason the country’s net wealth sits below that level is because of government and corporate debts.

Central government debts outweigh the state’s assets by almost £10 trillion, with a net debt of £982.3bn. That represents an increase of £22.1bn on the year as the national debt climbed.

Financial companies such as banks had a net debt of £46.8bn at the end of 2015, the first time a their debts outweighed assets since 2006.

Net debts at firms outside the financial sector fell by £175bn on the year to £931bn.


















Local government, in contrast with the other government and business sectors, has net assets of £585.5bn – in part because of its large stock of council houses – adding to the total sum of national wealth.

The value of housing stock rose to £5.5 trillion, up £355bn on the year and making dwellings the most valuable non-financial asset class.

The value of other buildings, such as offices, rose more modestly to £984bn.

Overall, financial liabilities – that is, debts – outweighed assets. For example the stock of currency and bank deposits came in at £6.4 trillion, but comparable liabilities amounted to £6.5 trillion.

British households and firms held £4.9 trillion of shares and investment funds at the end of 2015, almost exactly the same amount as they owned a year earlier.

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