Here’s a vaguely interesting question. Which is worth more: the UK stock market or the UK housing market?
The housing market wins. It’s aggregate total value is somewhere around £4 trillion, somewhat over twice as much as the stock market. A trillion is 1,000 billion, which is itself is 1,000 million.
The value of the stock market can be checked here.
The value of the housing market is a bit more hazy, but by taking the rough number of houses (around 25 million) and multiplying them by the average value (£163,000 according to Nationwide) gives you an answer around £4 trillion.
The gilt (government debt) market is currently worth £700 billion - that’s £0.7 trillion - doubling in the past four years. It’s still a tiddler compared to property and equities, but then again it’s a mortgage, not a store of wealth.
You want more of this? Try comparing the value of individual companies to the value of housing in towns and cities. Our largest company (by market capitalisation) is HSBC which is currently worth £112 billion. That’s equivalent to 700,000 average homes, enough to house a city of 2 million population - say Greater Manchester. Of course, property in Manchester itself would be worth far more than the sum total of its housing stock, but then I’m not considering commercial or council property values here.
The 100th biggest company listed on the UK stockmarket is currently Thomas Cook, the travel agent. It’s value is £1.9 billion, equivalent to around 12,000 average houses, or a the housing stock of small town with a population of 30,000.