Homeowners finally have something to celebrate

Nia Williams

December 15, 2009

Whilst the increase is modest, it is a massive improvement over 2008 when British property values fell £811.3 billion, according to property website Zoopla.co.uk, which provides free online valuations for every home in the country.

However, with the total value of the British residential housing stock now standing at £5.3 trillion, up marginally on one year ago, it still remains over three quarters of a trillion pounds below its peak of £6.1 trillion in late 2007. The average home in Britain is now worth £205,591 according to Zoopla.co.uk, up £1,517 (0.7%) from one year ago, a daily gain of £4 for the average property. This is in stark contrast to 2008 when property values fell by £31,355 (13.3%) on average, equivalent to a daily loss of £86 per home.

Property prices in England have climbed 0.9% over the past 12 months, having fallen 13.9% in 2008. Scottish values have also risen in 2009 by 0.6% to an average of £156,905 up from £155,597 at the end of last year. However, the property market in Wales is yet to rebound and has seen average values drop a further 2.5% (£3,866) in 2009 on top of the 13.2% decline in 2008.

Homeowners in Gloucestershire have had the biggest cause for celebration in 2009 as average property values have risen 3.8% over the past year to a current average home value of £229,945. At the other end of the scale, there is far less to cheer about in Merthyr Tydfil where the property values suffered the largest loss in 2009, falling 6.2% to a current average value of £94,132.

Nicholas Leeming, Commercial Director of Zoopla.co.uk, said: “2008 was undoubtedly the annus horribilis for homeowners. But, property prices have stabilised this year, rising gradually since April after a fairly weak first quarter. We are still a long way from the values seen before the recession took hold, but the housing market has not worsened in 2009 as some had feared and recovery signs are starting to take hold. With the biggest share of the UK’s household wealth – 39% – in property, it is far better news for homeowners this Christmas than last with their principal asset in better shape than at the start of the year.”

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