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£26bn wiped off the value of London’s housing stock

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Despite the drop, the capital still accounts for almost a quarter of all UK housing value

The value of London’s housing stock fell for the first time since 2009, losing £26.2bn last year, according to Savills.

Residential property in the capital saw its value drop by 1.5% in 2018, but it still totals an eye-watering  £1.77 trillion. That’s a quarter of all UK housing stock and over four times the combined value of housing in Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, Liverpool, and Sheffield.

Bigger picture

The total value of UK housing stock grew by just 2.7% in 2018 as Brexit fears slowed down the market, to hit a record £7.29 trillion.

The rise may have been modest in percentage terms, but it puts gains from housing ahead of the £187 billion collected by HMRC in income tax in the 12 months to November 2018.

Across the UK as a whole, house price growth added a £138bn, equivalent to growth of £4,800 per home. New housing developments made their highest ever contribution to total value gains at 28%.

Wales was the region showing the biggest gains in percentage terms, with housing value up 6.3%, to £226.1bn. The East Midlands (6.2%) and West Midlands (6.1%) followed close behind.

“Our analysis demonstrates the scale of the housing market and underlines the importance of housing to the economies of London and the UK as a whole, both as an asset class and store of private wealth,” said Lawrence Bowles, residential research analyst at Savills.

“Once again, we see that wealth concentrated in ever fewer, older hands, to the extent that the UK’s over 50s hold a quarter of all UK homeowner equity, while the over 65s in London and the South of England alone account for over three-quarters of the total.

“At the same time, as affordability becomes more stretched, younger households are having to put off buying their first home until later in life.  It’s great that we’re seeing more housing delivery, but development will have to make up a much higher proportion of new housing value if we are to come anywhere need building the homes this country needs.”