'Double boost' sends UK household wealth above £10trn

Rising house prices and financial assets play large part in £892bn increase, says Lloyds

cash money

British households got substantially wealthier last year, thanks to the "double boost" of a "booming City and rising house prices", says The Guardian.

On average, the total value of assets owned by households, as opposed to the likes of corporations and charities, rose nine per cent to more than £10trn - an extra £892bn, says Lloyds Bank's private banking arm.

Roughly half the gain came from rising house prices, which increased by 4.9 per cent, while 183,000 homes added to the stock of privately-owned properties. In total, this added £431bn to the asset base.

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Financial assets such as "bank and building society deposits, government bonds, shares in companies, life assurance and pensions" rose by eight per cent, or £461bn.

Lloyds added that the value of housing wealth and financial assets combined gained around 57 per cent over the past decade, outstripping the pace of consumer prices, which rose 39 per cent, and household income, which saw a 37 per cent increase.

Most of the wealth gains are clearly concentrated in assets held for the long-term and the figures do not relate to day-to-day incomes, but they have still rekindled debates over inequality.

Concerns have been raised over the growing disparity between those with property and pension wealth and those without.

"The Social Market Foundation said more than 14 million working age adults were not saving at all, and more than 26 million adults did not hold adequate rainy day or pension savings," says the Guardian.

In general, wealth inequality has surged in recent years thanks in large part to housing market gains, although income inequality has been steady since the early 1990s and has actually fallen slightly since 2008.

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