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Real estate market in the UK - statistics & facts

Real estate is a major part of the United Kingdom’s (UK) economy and despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the lengthy Brexit negotiations, both the turnover and the number of people employed in the sector increased between 2020 and 2021. According to the latest figures, the sector gave jobs to 551,000 people and generated over 68.6 billion British pounds in turnover in 2021. The coronavirus pandemic accelerated various trends in the UK real estate market: A large share of the office workforce switched to working from home, raising the question about the role of office space in the future. In 2021, office space vacancy rates remained high across most UK city centers, while rents slightly increased. Furthermore, with the growth of the online retail sector, the spotlight is on the industrial and logistics real estate sector: In the first quarter of 2021, it outperformed office real estate by volume of investment.

What’s the size of the commercial property sector in the UK?

After Germany, the UK is the biggest commercial real estate market in Europe, valued at over 1.6 trillion U.S. dollars. Commercial real estate can encompass multiple property types with a focus on financial return and renting, such as industrial, office, retail, leisure, medical, hotel, and in some cases even the privately rented residential subsector. In the UK, investments into commercial real estate peaked in 2015 but have been decreasing since. In 2020, the commercial property investment market saw the lowest value since 2012, measuring roughly 46.3 billion British pounds. Among many other factors, this fall in investment activity can be attributed to the lengthy period of Brexit negotiations and the coronavirus pandemic.

How has the residential property sector developed in recent years?

Since the coronavirus outbreak, demand on the residential property market has been strong, which has in turn affected house prices around bigger cities. The limited availability means competition among home buyers has been higher and the prices have been rising at a faster pace. In November 2021, the average house price in London reached almost 520,000 British pounds and was almost three times as high as in North East. Most households in the UK own their homes and rely on a mortgage for home financing. Comparing home ownership rates in different European countries, it can be seen that the UK ranks close to the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark, with 65.2 percent.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 36 most important statistics relating to "Real estate market in the UK".

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