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UK property debt hits £1.16trn – ONS

  • 10/12/2019
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UK property debt hits £1.16trn – ONS
Total property debt in the UK has risen by three per cent to £1.16trn, the latest Wealth and Assets Survey of Great Britain has shown.


Total household debt was £1.28trn, of which 91 per cent, or £1.16trn, was property debt and £119bn, or nine per cent, financial debt.

Property debt comprises mortgages and equity release secured on properties. Financial debt is made up of credit cards, loans and other non-mortgage debt.

The Wealth and Assets Survey is conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) every two years, with the latest figures covering April 2016 to March 2018.

Both types of debt have been increasing in real terms since the 2012 to 2014 survey.

Total property debt climbed by £0.03trn, up from £1.13trn, reflecting an increase in the number of households with property debt as well as rising levels of such debt.

The number of households with property debt rose to 9.2m, up from 9.1m.

The median household property debt increased by five per cent to £96,000.


Middle class debt

The survey analysed debt in ten wealth bands, ranging from the wealthiest ten per cent of households to the poorest ten per cent. 

The middle deciles were most likely to hold property debt: in deciles four to seven, 45 to 54 per cent of households owed property debt, compared to two per cent of households in the lowest decile.

The least wealthy were more likely to hold financial debt.

Total financial debt rose by £12bn, or 11 per cent, mostly driven by hire purchase and student loans.

Four per cent of households were identified as having problem debt, not including mortgages in arrears.


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