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Halifax: UK mortgage debt up 88% since 2002

UK houses

The value of mortgage debt has risen 88 per cent since 2002, while the value of all privately owned houses in the UK has increased 62 per cent over the period.

According to research by Halifax, mortgage debt in the UK has risen from £675bn in 2002 to £1.27trn at the end of 2012.

Over the same period the value of the UK’s housing stock, including owner-occupied and private rented properties, has risen 62 per cent from £2.57trn to £4.2trn.

Housing equity increased from £1.89trn to £2.90trn over the period.

Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis says: “The combined value of all privately owned houses in the UK is estimated to have exceeded £4trn at the end of last year. The increase in total housing value over the past decade is equivalent to over £71,000 per privately owned property.

“Aggregate housing equity held by UK households is in a healthy state with total housing assets worth nearly £3trn more than the total value of mortgage debt. Despite the rapid rise in mortgage debt over the past 10 years, housing equity has grown by £1trn since 2002.”

The strongest house price gains were made in Scotland, followed by London and the North East.

Private housing stock in Scotland has appreciated by 115 per cent since 2002 and by 83 per cent and 76 per cent in London and the North East respectively.

The smallest increases were in the West Midlands and the South East, registering increases of 45 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.


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  1. Personal debt is only a consequence of bad economic decisions undertaken by lenders and borrowers and in reality Britain ‘needs’ to build a Science & Technology City to Create Jobs and Wealth to cut our vast accumulating debt mountain (public, private, corporate and government). Estimated last year by PwC chief economist to be around £10 trillion by 2015. The whole of the country is worth less than £7 trillion, therefore we will be £3 trillion in debt and insolvent come another 2 years.

    When natural resources are plentiful, the capitalism system works, but only for them that control capital. When natural resources are scarce and they become increasingly unavailable, capitalism only works for those who control capital again. Therefore the winners are always those who control capital. Seems simple, but where the UK’s downgrading to Aa1 (predicted to go even lower over the coming decade), continual quantitative easing and floating inflation expounded as a virtue by the incoming governor of the Bank of England, will create a nation that will never control capital in any significant or meaningful quantities to get our nation out of its problems. Indeed this ominous state has never been the case before and we should all be concerned. Therefore with a stagnant economy with no tunnel, never mind any light at the end of it, our politicians have to start thinking in terms of a new long-term way forward. This is simple also, but apparently hard for our politicians and main-stream economists to grasp. In this respect the UK has no economic strategy that will drive it forward one bit against the backdrop of the ever-growing economic might of the East and that goes equally for both the Tories and Labour Party thinking too. Therefore we have to start thinking about the long-haul (30 years or more) and where our greatest strength resides if politicians started to read and understand what history tells us. If they did, they would find that Britain’s supreme strength is that of innovation and creative thinking. Indeed according to international studies our people’s thinking has created up to 54% of the modern world. Therefore considering this ultimate strength above all other nations we should be putting in place a national catalyst that would provide our greatest strength to flourish. If common sense prevails, this has to be in the form of a new science-city where creative thought meets to develop ideas to produce future jobs and wealth creation in the size that we shall need as a nation. Indeed this leading-edge thinking and complex would provide the new technological industries needed for this century and beyond. We have the undoubted capability here according to history (both past and present) and all that is needed is the political will to build such a far-reaching and world changing centre for the people of the United Kingdom. Spending £32 billion on such an endeavour would be extraordinarily far more rewarding long-term than the HS2 that both political ruling parties support and which will not provide the industries for jobs that we so desperately need after it is completed. For the creation of new industries and jobs can only come from something that is totally dedicated to just providing this end – the ORE-STEM science and technology city is the ultimate answer. I therefore wish at times that our politicians would just think long-term, more wisely when looking after our future and see further than they presently do. The HS2 certainly is not the panacea to transform our nation’s economic fortunes and is in many ways an economic folly.

    Dr David Hill
    Chief Executive
    World Innovation Foundation

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