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UK’s private housing worth more than the fortunes of ALL the world’s billionaires

Homeowners are sitting on a record property fortune of £5.6tn after house prices jumped by more than 50% during the past 10 years, according to Halifax.

That’s greater than the annual GDP of the UK, France and Italy COMBINED. Or to put it another way, the UK’s housing market is worth more than the fortunes of the world’s 1,810 billionaires added together.

The total value of the UK’s privately-owned homes has jumped by £1.9tn since 2006 alone, according to mortgage lender Halifax.

On an individual level, the value of the average property has climbed by £67,845 in the past 10 years, to stand at £241,682.

And in the past year alone, the value of private housing stock has grown by £337bn.

Why is this happening?

The impressive jump in housing wealth has been driven by a combination of rising house prices and increased levels of homeownership.

Property values have soared by 51% since 2006, significantly outpacing the retail price index, which has risen by just 33% during the same period.

At the same time, the number of privately-owned homes has risen by 1.8m to stand at 23.1m.

Who does it affect?

London and the south east have seen the biggest increases in housing wealth, with strong price gains matched by rising numbers of households.

In the capital, the value of privately-owned housing has more than doubled from £655bn to £1.3tn since 2006, while in the south east it has risen by 61% to stand at £402bn.

The east and Scotland have also seen strong gains at 60% and 51% respectively.

But the north-south gap has widened during the past decade, with the value of private homes in southern regions rising by 70%, compared with a gain of just 27% in northern ones.

As a result, the south’s share of total UK housing wealth has increased to 62%, up from 55% in 2006.

Sounds interesting. What’s the background?

Even once outstanding mortgage debt is taken into account, the amount of equity in private housing still stands at £4.2tn.

Housing equity has increased by £1.6tn since 2006, despite the fact that outstanding mortgage debt has also increased during the same period.

But while money owed through mortgages has risen by £264bn, the value of privately-owned housing has soared by seven times as much, increasing by £1.9tn.

Nearly one in three homeowners also now owns their property outright with no mortgage debt at all.

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House prices rise for first time since March

House prices have picked up speed for the first time since March, but will slow in the next year as the market loses momentum.

Halifax’s price index recorded a 6pc annual increase in house prices in the three months to November, up from last month’s figure of 5.2pc. Home prices increased by just 0.2pc month-on-month, and the average UK house price is now £218,000.

Despite the slight increase in growth Hansen Lu, an analyst at Capital Economics, said that the market “is still losing momentum”. He said: “With house prices very high and some buyers still cautious following the Brexit vote, we expect the slowdown to be extended well into next year.”

He added that affordability is stretched, and potential homebuyers’ “ability to borrow more to bid up home prices is becoming increasingly constrained”.

Howard Archer, an analyst at IHS Global Insight, said that home prices look likely to rise modestly in the near term, but will slow down at the end of next year to around 2pc.

He added: “We believe the fundamentals for home buyers will progressively deteriorate during 2017 with consumers’ purchasing power weakening markedly and the labour market likely softening.”

He said that the low supply of homes for sale, as reported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, means that any softening in house prices would be limited.

House prices picked up pace in November and will keep rising in the months ahead, but a slowdown in activity next year will hurt the economy, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

Looking ahead, 14 per cent expected prices to increase in the next three months, while 40 per cent predicted rises over the next year, “except in London, where the long-term outlook is much weaker”.

These figures tie in with a Halifax report this week showing annual house price increases picking up pace last month and a Reuters [2] poll of experts by Reuters that predicted growth of two per cent next year.

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