As countless people and commentators have said, 2016 has been quite a year! Not just for the property market, but for the UK in general. However, it’s the property market that’s the focus of our year in numbers report, courtesy of data from Zoopla.
“While statistics can be dull to some people, they can tell you a lot about what’s happened and that’s particularly true of the UK’s property market,” said Newington Green estate agent, M&M Property. “We Brits like to know what’s been going on in the world of property every month and year, so it’s no surprise these data have garnered plenty of interest.”
Property Totals and Value
In 2016 there were 28,896,885 residential properties in the UK, that’s up from 28,659,653 in 2015. The combined total value of those properties was £7.76 trillion in 2015, rising to £8.17 trillion in 2016.
That’s quite a hefty increase. And, to give that figure a bit of perspective, if that value were of an economy, it would be third largest in the world; behind China and the US but ahead of Japan and Germany.
When it comes to total residential property market value for the US, though, at £19.36 trillion ($23.9 trillion) it’s more than double the UK. But, there are also a lot more homes in the US, some 134.7 million in 2016, in fact – more than four times the number in the UK.
“The UK is known for punching above its weight and it’s no different when it comes to property,” said Knightsbridge estate agent, Plaza Estates. “Although the high value of residential property in the UK and London in particular, is no surprise to people who want to buy a home here, it might be to those who aren’t so aware of the high values associated with UK homes.”
Top Price Growth by Area
Moving on to the UK areas that have experienced the highest increase in average home prices during 2016, figures show seven of the top ten come from the South of England. However, the largest increase over the course of 2016 was a 16.2% rise in Diss, Norfolk. Leatherhead in Surrey is next on the list with house prices there, 14.7% higher in December 2016 than they were 12 months earlier.
Southall in London saw prices increase 14.55% while Crook in County Durham was close behind with an average property price rise of 14.45% over the 12 months of 2016. Indeed, the average price growth of property in the top ten didn’t fall below 13%; the slowest pace of growth was a 13.8% rise in Upminster, Essex.
However, when we take a look at the larger regions of the UK, London is third from bottom in the 11-strong list. But, even though the average price increase for the capital was 5.12% in 2016 – less than half the 11.56% increase in the East of England, at £680,593, the average residential property price in London continues to dwarf values across the rest of the country.
“It’s interesting to see where price growth has been strong or not, but it’s absolutely no surprise whatsoever, that London remains by far and away the most expensive part of the UK to buy a home,” said Westminster estate agent, Andrew Reeves. “No matter what happens in 2017, that’s one detail we can say with certainty, that isn’t going to change.”