Increasing house prices create record number of millionaires

One in 79 Britons aged over 21 is now a ‘millionaire’ as a result of rising property prices and increased prosperity.

That figure is up from one in 84 people last year, and is the highest on record, according to Barclays Wealth.

The number of millionaires in the UK rose by 44,000 (or 7.6%) during 2016 to total around 625,000. However, the new figure still only represents less than 1% of the UK population.

Scotland was the only region of the UK where the number of millionaires did not rise.

Why is this happening?

The report said most areas of the UK were more prosperous than they were a year earlier, due to rising earnings.

House price growth is also likely to be a major factor behind the growing number of millionaires, with the strong gains in property values seen in recent years significantly increasing individual wealth.

The fact that nearly half of all millionaires in Britain live in London or the south east, where property values are highest, also indicates house price rises have played a role in boosting the number of millionaires in the UK.

 

Above: Looking for a three-bedroom Victorian home in the capital? This one is for sale in Acton, West London, for £1m.

Who does it affect?

London, where Barclays says the average property costs just over £480,000, has the biggest number of millionaires at 165,000, closely followed by the south east, where homes cost £320,000, at 130,000.

But the East Midlands and south west actually saw the biggest increase in millionaire population last year, with numbers rising by 11.1% and 10.5% respectively.

There were around 12,500 millionaires in both Wales and Northern Ireland, nearly 9% more than a year earlier.

 

 

Above: On the market for £950,000 in Newport, Wales, this period home offers five double bedrooms and mature gardens

Sounds interesting. What’s the background?

Barclays Wealth said the UK saw uneven rates of prosperity growth during 2016.

While most areas of the country are more prosperous overall than they were 12 months earlier, cities generally outperformed their regions, leading to gaps opening up in average earnings.

This pattern is reflected in house price growth, with property values in cities typically rising quicker than those in the surrounding region.

Hometrack recently revised its house price growth forecast for the major cities to between 6% and 7% for 2017, significantly higher than the 2% economists have pencilled in for the UK as a whole.

London is the exception, where house price growth remains subdued due to stretched affordability and the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

It should be noted that Barclays’ data is based partly on assets, including property, and not cash alone.

Zoopla currently lists more than 10,000 properties in London costing £1m or more. This compares to 109 in Wales and just 42Scotland. None are currently available in Northern Ireland.

Above: Offering five bedrooms and a detached garage in the estuary village of Lympstone in Devon, this house is for sale £1.1m

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Had pretty much decided upon buying the property before I’d seen it and so was very eager to wrap-up the whole deal. Couldn’t have asked for a speedier negotiation and we agreed on a price the same day. Laura was very professional and kept both sides updated despite my useless solicitors dragging their feet.

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Dave gave an honest evaluation and our house was under offer within a week, enabling us to put an offer in on our dream home while it was still available! When our chain broke Michelle, Beth and Dave worked hard to get it reconnected within a few days..A great team to have as agents, always enthusiastic, always kept us up to date with what was happening through the sale process, Many thanks!

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Strongest house price growth in SW

The latest data and analysis from LSL / Acadata has revealed that the house price gap between the South East and the rest of the country continues to narrow.

According to the findings, house price growth fell marginally in August (0.2%), which left the average England and Wales house price at £297,398. This is still 2.1% higher than this time last year, when the average price was £5,982 lower.

In terms of transactions, there were an estimated 80,500 sales completed – an increase of 5% compared to July’s total, and up 6% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Annual increases peaked in February 2016 at 9.1%, with both London and the South East boosting the national house price inflation figure by over 2%. With the rate of growth in the regions falling steadily over the year, by February 2017, the national figures were stronger without the two regions included. Today, at 0.7%, London has the lowest house price increases of any region, while other areas such as the East of England (up 5.5%) have continued to rise strongly.

House prices in London fell by an average of 1.4% in July, leaving the average price in the capital at £591,459. Over the year, though, prices are still up by £4,134 or 0.7% compared to July 2016. In July, 21 of the 33 London boroughs saw price falls, however 20 boroughs have increased over the year.

Much of the fall in London’s price in the last month is down to three of the most expensive boroughs: Kensington and Chelsea, the most expensive, where they fell 3.4% to £1,823,659; City of Westminster, second, with prices down 6.8% on the month (and 9.8% on the year, the biggest annual fall) to £1,347,536; and Wandsworth, relatively less expensive, but still in the top ten, with prices at £731,782 after a 3.8% fall.

Just two of the cheapest third of boroughs have seen prices fall in the last year: Greenwich, down 3.9% and Enfield, down 0.9%. By contrast Croydon (up 5.4% annually) and Lewisham (up 6.7%) both saw new peak average prices in the month.

Looking at transactions, sales in the three months May-July 2017 are up 7% on the same period last year.

All regions continued to record annual growth in July, but the East of England is particularly strong. With prices up 5.5% annually, and a 0.3% increase over the month, the region set a new peak average price of £325,616.

Prices in the East of England are still some way off the levels in London, but they’re closing the gap with the South East, where the average price is £369,095, and growth in the last year has been less than half the rate in the East, at 2.5%. Since price growth began to slow in February, the gap between average prices in the two regions has fallen by a fifth from £54,786 to £43,479.

Elsewhere, the divide between high and low priced areas continues to be reinforced, however. With the exception of London and the South East, higher priced areas – the East, South West (up 3.9% annually), East Midlands (up 3.5%) and North West (up 3.9%) – are all seeing stronger annual growth than the cheaper regions of the North East (up 1.2%), Yorks & Humber (up 1.0%) and Wales (up 1.8%).

Overall, 86 unitary authority areas in England and Wales – 80% of the 108 total – have recorded price rises over the year. Those in the best performing region, the East of England, have been consistently strong. Southend-on-Sea (up 11%), Luton (up 9.2%), Bedfordshire (up 9.1%), Peterborough (up 8.6%) and others are growing fast and no authority in the region has seen prices fall for eight months.

Elsewhere, Poole (up 12.9%), Blaenau Gwent (up 12.8%), Pembrokeshire (up 10.3%) and – topping the table (albeit on low transaction volumes) – Rutland, up 16.3%, have also all seen double-digit house price growth in the last year. The biggest fall on an annual basis is in Carmarthenshire, with prices down 7.2% over the year.

When it comes to transactions, Wales is leading the way: eight of the ten top spots in terms of the areas with the highest increase in property sales between the periods of May-July 2016 and May-July 2017 are all located in the country.

How to get an offer accepted

Falling in love with your dream home is something most buyers will experience, but there is always a risk that your offer won’t be accepted and you’ll lose out.

NAEA Propertymark shares a few simple tips you can follow to help secure your perfect property.

Katie Griffin, President, NAEA Propertymark says: “Finding your dream property is no mean feat, but when you do eventually find it, the biggest task is keeping hold of it. It’s really important to try and connect with the seller or agents involved, but keep a clear head and make a strong case for why the seller should choose you. An ideal buyer will show that they have done their homework, are clear about how quickly they can move and that they are taking the process seriously.”

Become an expert

Do your homework before you place an offer so you go into the process comfortable and confident. There is so much information available on the internet about the house buying process and the local area, so take advantage of this. Look into what similar properties in the area have sold for so you’re confident the price you’re offering is the right one.

Get your finances in place

Confirm you can get a mortgage and have enough money for a full deposit before you start your search; there’s nothing worse than falling in love with a property you can’t afford. Estate agents will need to verify your ID before solicitors are instructed so remember to bring in your passport and a utility bill to provide your proof of funds. Estate agents shouldn’t accept an offer without confirmation that the prospective buyer has their finances in place.

Stress your position

First-time buyers with no chain make for attractive buyers. Your seller may be looking to move as soon as possible and if you’re in a good position, you should make that clear as it will make you more attractive than other potential buyers.

Build relationships

Building a relationship with your estate agent will help ensure you’re getting the best possible advice about your purchase. Try and go into their offices rather than having a phone call, and sit down with them to discuss your requirements so that later down the line they can put a face to your name.

Act quickly

Sellers are busy and don’t want time wasters. If you like the look of a property, don’t dawdle – be the first to get a viewing. Being proactive is one way to show the seller you’re a serious contender.

Putting a price on it

While a bit of negotiating is to be expected, don’t go too low. This can cause tension with the seller and you may end up losing the property altogether if someone else offers a higher bid. You should try to avoid round numbers to prevent yourself making the same bid as someone else.

Protect your purchase once accepted

Once your offer has been accepted, ask for the property to be taken off the market straight away. This can minimise the chances of additional offers coming in over and above yours and finding you’ve been trumped.

UK HPI: House prices up 5.1%

The latest data and analysis from ONS/Land Registry has revealed that average house prices in the UK have increased by 5.1% in the year to July 2017.

The annual growth rate has slowed since mid-2016 but has remained broadly around 5% during 2017.

According to the UK HPI, the average UK house price was £226,000 in July 2017. This is £11,000 higher than in July 2016 and £2,000 higher than last month.

The main contribution to the increase in UK house prices came from England, where house prices increased by 5.4% over the year to July 2017, with the average price in England now £243,000. Wales saw house prices increase by 3.1% over the last 12 months to stand at £151,000. In Scotland, the average price increased by 4.8% over the year to stand at £149,000. The average price in Northern Ireland currently stands at £129,000, an increase of 4.4% over the year to Quarter 2 (Apr to Jun) 2017.