Households see weakest growth in net worth for decade

British households saw the weakest growth in their net worth for a decade last year amid a slowdown in the housing market, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said UK household net worth lifted by just 0.6%, or £58 billion, to £10.3 trillion in 2018 due to slowing property price growth.

The ONS revealed that overall, Britain’s net worth rose to £10.4 trillion, which was equivalent to £156,000 per Briton.

This marked the slowest growth in UK net worth since 2012, rising by 3% or £297 billion between 2017 and 2018 as it was weighed down by easing property and land markets.

The value of houses in the UK accounts for a large chunk of each Briton’s net worth, but have come under pressure amid Brexit uncertainty since the EU referendum.

Official figures showed house prices increased at their slowest annual rate in more than five years in 2018, up just 2.5%.

But property prices were not the only drag on household net worth, as the latest figures showed a £74 billion fall in their financial net worth to £4.7 trillion, the first such decrease since 2008.

This came as a result of falling values of insurance and pension policies, as well as equity and investment fund shares.

The ONS data also showed that across the UK, the value of land rose by a “significantly” lower £125 billion last year to £10.6 trillion, according to the ONS.

It had swelled by £437 billion in 2017.

The UK’s net worth of financial assets – such as equity and investment fund shares, currencies and deposits – fell by £224 billion last year, which also offset some of the rises in land value.