Surging land and house prices added almost half a trillion pounds to the country’s net worth last year, official figures have revealed.
The net value of all of the UK’s assets broke through £10 trillion for the first time in 2017, the Office for National Statistics said. Almost all of the rise to £10.2 trillion from £9.75 trillion was fuelled by a £450bn rise in land values.
Housing added another £40bn to the nation’s balance sheet. Land is now worth £5.4 trillion, which amounts to 53pc of all wealth in the country. This is up from one-third of net assets in 1995, and means land is close to its record high share of 53.3pc of total worth, which it hit in the boom years of 2006 and 2007.
Far more of the country's net worth is held in land than is the case in other similar countries. In 2016 it made up 51pc of UK assets, compared with 41.9pc in France, 39.1pc in Canada, 35.4pc in Japan and 25.9pc in Germany.
Housing wealth makes up 17.8pc of the UK’s net worth, and added to land this takes the two to a total of 70.7pc of net assets.
It may be that this is the latest high-water mark for British property, however. House price growth, which in part drives land values, has slowed to 3pc in the last year. This is the slowest since 2013.
London’s market, which is the most highly valued, has gone into reverse, with prices down 0.7pc on the year in June.
The Government’s financial position also improved by £73.7bn on the year, as the value of its property, cash and investments climbed. However its net worth is still deep in the red at minus £689bn.
By contrast the UK’s net financial worth dropped by £117bn as a rise in liabilities outstripped an increase in assets. The net position of financial assets is minus £164.5bn.