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Property boosts wealth figures

The net wealth of the average UK adult rose to £70,000 in 2002 from £64,000 in 2000, according to a report from IBM Business Consulting Services.

The report, Personal Wealth in Britain, says that while people have lost £182bn in the stockmarkets since 2000, this has been outweighed by a £245bn increase in the value of properties over the period.

The net effect is that IBM estimates the average wealth of UK adults has increased by 10 per cent with property&#39s share of total assets increasing from 46 per cent to 56 per cent.

With the increasing importance of property, the percentage of total assets considered liquid has dipped to 23 per cent from 30 per cent in 2000. The biennial report issues a warning that the nation is becoming increasingly equity-rich but cash-poor and that the financial services industry needs to radically change the help it offers consumers to manage their wealth.

IBM predicts a boom in markets such as current account mortgages and equity-release schemes, with providers rushing to satisfy the increasing demand.

Senior consultant Tim Blaxall says: “On an individual basis, the wealth of the nation has changed dramatically. The financial services sector needs to transform the services it offers to include new ways to help people manage their increasingly illiquid but growing wealth. Only around 23 per cent of most people&#39s assets are investible or liquid, a figure that will decrease given the nature of the world&#39s stockmarkets.”

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