Value of Britain’s housing stock soars to nearly £8 TRILLION

For sale signs in Harrogate
For sale signs in Harrogate
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THE TOTAL value of Britain’s housing stock has risen to nearly £8 trillion, more than four times the size of the nation’s annual economic output, near figures reveal.

Property website Zoopla said Britain’s 28.6 million homes grew in value by nearly £1.4 billion per day during 2015.

They are now worth a combined £7.76 trillion, with the total residential stock rising 7.2 per cent over the last year.

The largest increases were registered in Brentford and West Drayton, once drab and unfashionable suburbs of London now caught up in the capital’s property boom, where homes rose by 24 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.

Yorkshire house prices rose by 3.3 per cent during 2015, the fourth lowest in Britain but ahead of the North East, Scotland and Wales.

The average house price in Yorkshire is now £167,597, compared to £655,305 in London.

Homeowners in the gilded capital have seen the highest price growth in 2015 of any region, with an 11.8 per cent annual uplift.

The East of England follows closely with an 11.6 per cent rise – up from 9.6 per cent during 2014.

London, Edinburgh, and Bristol were the top three most searched-for locations by British house-hunters on Zoopla in 2015.

Northern areas also performed well, with Glasgow rising in the rankings – moving from sixth place in 2014 to fourth place this year – while Leeds broke into the top 10, coming in eighth.

Zoopla’s research also reveals the most popular keyword searches over the past year: ‘bungalow’, ‘cottage’ and ‘village’, with aspirational property hunters also searching for homes offering a ‘pool’ and a ‘sea view’.

Lawrence Hall, head of communications at Zoopla, said: “While the property market typically slows at this time of the year, prices have performed well in 2015, with some standout towns such as Brentford faring particularly well.

“Regions like East Anglia continue to boom as professionals and families seek out properties beyond the London commuter belt.

“Even regions like Wales, where growth has typically been very incremental, have totalled respectable annual growth rates.

“Of course, to every silver lining there must be a cloud and the price rises we’re seeing do make it harder for those looking to take their first step onto the ladder.

“But with Government Help to Buy schemes still in place and the promise of new homes to ease demand both buyers and sellers should have at least some reason to be upbeat as we go into 2016.”

Yorkshire homeowners in exclusive enclaves like the so-called golden triangle between north Leeds, Harrogate and York or the upmarket North Ferriby near Hull have another reason to be upbeat.

The region saw the second highest increase of million-pound properties in 2015, up 24 per cent since January. The East of England topped the list.

Mr Hall said: “It’s interesting to see that areas such as the East of England and Yorkshire have seen bigger percentage rises in the numbers of property millionaires over the last 12 months compared with the south which typically dominates each year. However the number of properties valued at more than £1m in the south still outweigh the rest of Britain boosted by wealthy hotspots such as Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.

“With an improving economy and the ongoing lack of housing supply, this continues to put upward pressure on house prices at all levels of the market and has nudged a whole new raft of properties over the £1m mark.”