House prices in Britain have outstripped the huge rises seen in stocks and shares over the past decade, according to property experts.
The total value of homes in the country has increased by 48% to just over £6 trillion since 2007.
Investors tracking the FTSE 100 would not have fared so well, says mortgage lender the Halifax.
The index has only increased 16%, from 6,433 to 7,460 over the same time.
The lender says home prices continue to rise due to a lack of supply and increasing demand.
Even though Chancellor Phillip Hammond is pumping £15 billion into building a target of 300,000 homes a year, this is only enough to keep pace with demand – and the homes will not hit the market until 2025.
House price gap between north and south
According to the Halifax, the average UK home is valued at £256,912, an increase of 37% from £187,310 in 2007.
That means the average homeowner has banked £69,602 from increasing home values in 10 years.
In that time, housing stock has increased by 1.9 million – and average 190,000 homes a year.
The statistics also reveal a massive north/south home price divide.
In 2007, 62% of the nation’s housing wealth was concentrated in the south. Since then this has risen to 68%, accounting for 55% of the £1.94 trillion increase over the decade.
The Halifax says home values in the north have gone up by a quarter, compared to two-thirds in the south.
Mixed fortunes in London
The average house now costs £579,761 in London, with the result many cannot afford to climb on to the property ladder and home ownership has shifted to landlords. Just over half of all London homes (52%) are in the hands of private landlords, compared to 37% across the rest of UK.
Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “The value of housing stock has grown by close £2 trillion in the past decade and with the equity rich regions of London and the south east largely responsible, it highlights a considerable regional imbalance in the distribution of housing wealth.
“Within the capital there is also a mix of fortunes. While more than a fifth of total property wealth is in London, lower levels of owner occupation reflect a major barrier to the property ladder with a far greater number of people renting where house prices are at their highest.”