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Further evidence that 'UK economy is gathering pace'

According to research by Lloyds Bank Private Banking, household wealth has grown by its largest annual amount in a decade.

With individual households typically seeing their wealth grow by £96,000 in the last 10 years to reach £280,787, Ashish Misra, head of investment policy at Lloyds Bank Private Banking, said:

In the past year household wealth grew by £717 billion, the largest annual rise in the decade

Increasing activity in the housing market and continued growth in equity prices has boosted household wealth. These figures, to an extent, provide further evidence that the recovery in the UK economy is gathering pace.

– Ashish Misra

Household wealth increases by £717 billion

Rising household wealth could mean the economy is in recovery, a Lloyds banking report has found. The increased value of people's financial assets as well as rising housing market activity helped household wealth to increase by £717 billion in the last year.

Household wealth is measured by working out the value of people's assets such as their house, savings, shares and pensions, minus what they owe on debts like credit cards and mortgages.

Household wealth is calculated by working out people'd assets such as pensions and houses. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

Total household wealth is estimated to have reached £7.84 trillion by the end of last year.

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Rising house prices 'bad for the country as a whole'

File photo dated 27/01/14 of For Sale signs. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The majority of the public believe that the rise in house prices is bad for the country, a new ITV News/ComRes poll has found.

ComRes interviewed 2,034 British adults in an online poll in May. 59% of those asked felt that rising house prices are bad for the country as a whole, with only 26% saying that they saw the rise as positive.

60% of those with homes said that rising prices were good for them.

It was a different story for renters, however, with 68% of those who rent their home saying that the rises are bad for them personally.

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Home sales reach 10-year high in England and Wales

Property sales in England and Wales grew at their fastest annual rate in 10 years in the six months to September 2013, according to a report by Lloyds Bank.

Property sales grew at their fastest annual rate in 10 years in the six months to September 2013 Credit: PA

Across England and Wales, 98% of towns saw an annual increase in sales, compared with a year earlier, when 26% of towns saw a year-on-year increase.

The report, which used Land Registry figures, found there were 396,756 house sales in the six months to September, marking an increase of more than 21% on the same period in 2012.

While this marks the highest year-on-year increase in a decade, property sales were still 41% below a 2006 market peak of 673,699.

Home buyers using Help to Buy scheme near 13,000

Almost 13,000 home buyers have used the first phase of the Government's Help to Buy scheme to purchase a new-build home in the scheme's first nine months, according to government figures.

Estate Agent's boards as lenders expect a significant further increase in mortgage availability Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) showed there have been 12,875 sales of newly-built properties through the Help to Buy equity loan scheme in England since its launch, with a further 6,446 sales in the pipeline.

The Government said the equity loan scheme, which helps first-time buyers and home movers to buy a newly-built home with a deposit of at least 5% of the property price, while the Government offers a loan of up to 20%, had created 46 new home owners every day since its launch.

A second phase of Help to Buy, covering the whole of the UK, was launched in October and offers state-backed mortgages to people with 5% deposits who want to buy a new-build or an existing home.

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