On 1 February 2018, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released a 70 page statistical bulletin on the Wealth in Great Britain covering the period July 2014 to June 2016. The report is based on interviews from a cohort of 20,000 households. Needless to say, the extrapolation of this survey of 20,000 to a UK population with some 27 million households could be prone to significant deviation from reality. The key points from the ONS are summarised for June 2016:
- Aggregate total net wealth of all households in Great Britain was £12.8 trillion, up 15% from the June 2014 figure of £11.1 trillion. Interestingly, this sets in some context, total aggregate household debt of £1.2 trillion and UK government debt at £ 1.8 trillion.
- Median household total net wealth was £259,400, up from £225,100 in the previous period (an increase of 15%).
- The wealth held by the top 10% of households was around five times greater than the wealth of the bottom half of all households combined.
- Aggregate total private pension wealth of all households in Great Britain was £5.3 trillion; this has increased by 20.4% from £4.4 trillion in June 2014.
- 49% of individuals aged 16 to 64 years had some form of active private pension to which they were contributing (up from 44% in the previous period).
- 66% of employees were actively contributing to a private pension scheme compared with 25% of self-employed, with median current pension wealth for employees being £33,000 compared with £21,000 for the self-employed.
- There was a striking increase in the value of net property wealth for households in London compared with all other regions; median net property wealth in London was £351,000, a 33% increase from £263,000 in June 2014.
- Total aggregate debt of all households in Great Britain was £1.23 trillion (a 7% increase from June 2014), of which £1.12 trillion was mortgage debt (6% higher) and £117.0 billion was financial debt (15% higher).
- 49% of the population had some form of financial debt and 35% had some form of property debt. This was stable compared with June 2014, where 48% had some form of financial debt and 36% had property debt.
The breakdown of aggregate total wealth, by components is illustrated below:
(Physical Wealth is defined as the value of household contents, possessions and valuables owned such as antiques, artworks, collections and any vehicles owned by individuals.)
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