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Environment / Climate change

Mapping the UK’s housing wealth

Housing in the UK is “worth” around £6 trillion – but that value is very unevenly distributed. So, here’s a map which shows total housing wealth in London, rather than simply house prices.

For those interested in the detail, I’ve used the total housing asset value based on the Land Registry’s average house prices for 2013, and dwelling numbers from the 2011 census. The 3D height is proportional to the density of value – £ per square inch, as it were – so the volume of a column is proportional to total housing asset value.

House prices in parts of the priciest suburbs, such as Richmond or Kingston, are not so far behind Kensington or Westminster. In central London, however, there are far more of these expensive houses together in a far smaller area. As a result, the total amount of housing wealth is stacked far higher here than anywhere else.

This map highlights how extreme the concentration of housing wealth has become. Take a wider view, and you can see that nowhere else in the country comes anywhere close.

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Housing makes up the large proportion of the country’s net asset value, and it may not be healthy that this value is so concentrated. Housebuilding – creating new housing assets – would be a good way to spread this wealth further and more fairly.

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Update, 16/10:

I’ve had a number of requests for a wider view, below. Unfortunately the 3D rendering can’t cope, but I’ve kept the colour coding the same, and it tells much the same story.

Housing in Inner London is “worth” a third more than all the housing in Wales and Scotland put together. Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea alone have housing valued at £260 billion, more than the total of housing in the 55 “lowest value” local authorities.

Barney Stringer is a director of regeneration consultancy Quod, who writes about cities, economics and infrastructure. This article was originally posted on his blog here.
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