Belfast Telegraph

Household wealth in record growth, reveals new report

By Holly Williams

Household wealth has grown by the largest amount since records began, thanks to rising house prices and buoyant financial markets, a report has found.

Rising housing market activity and the increased value of people's financial assets helped household wealth to increase by £1.5trn or 19% last year, according to research by Lloyds Bank Private Banking.

This is the biggest leap since records started in 2001.

The figures show that individual households have seen their wealth increase by £126,572 on average since 2004, standing at an estimated £326,414 in 2014.

Since 2004, total wealth held by households has grown by £3.9trn - or 75% - to £9.1trn.

House price hikes have been a big factor behind this, with a 9% rise in average property values last year, according to the report, which found 39% of total household wealth is now held in bricks and mortar.

But a doubling in the value of financial assets such as stocks and shares, bank deposits, government bonds and pensions has seen financial wealth become increasingly important over the past decade.

Financial assets now account for 61% of wealth, up from 55% in 2004.

Household wealth is measured by working out the value of people's assets such as their house, savings, shares and pensions, minus what they owe on debts like credit cards and mortgages.

Markus Stadlmann, chief investment officer at Lloyds Bank Private Banking, said: "Since 2004, substantial growth in the value of the housing stock and financial assets has boosted net household wealth by close to £4trn.

"A booming housing market up to 2007 coupled with the rising value of households' financial assets held and a growing number of older households are the key drivers."

Belfast Telegraph