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March 17, 2015

London property prices are swallowing Britain's wealth

By City Monitor Staff

This afternoon the Homes for Britain campaign is holding a rally in Westminster, in a bid to persuade politicians to (in not so many words) build more bloody houses.

This is necessary because, as David Orr, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation, put it:

Housing wealth is ballooning for the lucky few, but the rest of the country and ordinary Londoners are seeing things get tougher. There is more wealth, but it is in fewer pockets – housing in this county is increasingly a case of the have lots and the have nots.

Our housing market is broken; it no longer works for the people of this country.

This morning, the campaign, led by a coalition of eight housing groups, released some stats to demonstrate this. Here at CityMetric, the only thing we enjoy more than charts is charts that really depress you. So, here are those stats, in misery-inducing graphical form.

Between 2010 and 2013, the value of the nation’s property grew by 7 per cent (£289bn). 

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But much of that growth – actually, nearly all of it – was in London and the South East.

In fact, four-fiths of it (80 per cent) of it was in the capital alone.

And nearly a third (30 per cent) was in just two boroughs, Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea.

So, hey great news for everyone, except for those people whose jobs require them to live in London, right?

Well, no, even that might actually be too optimistic. Elsewhere in the country, property wealth is actually in decline. In the North East region, it fell by 2 per cent:

In the North West, it fell by 3 per cent:

Which would be fine were we not living in an economy in which so much of people’s wealth was tied up in their homes. But unfortunately we are, so.

In all, London now contains about one eighth of the nation’s population, but a quarter of its property wealth. That’s more than the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the East Midlands put together.

We are so monumentally screwed.

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