BusinessCompany NewsThink of a number …

Think of a number ...

Latest figures supplied by the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that home loans hit a record £219bn in the UK for 2002. That's a lot of money when you consider that Gordon Brown set teeth rattling when he put the national deficit at around £12bn.

But just how many people could this amount of borrowing actually house?

Using the formula £219bn divided by the average cost of a house, multiplied by four (average number of occupants) makes for some interesting reading.

For example, in the north of England, where houses cost just £73,000, this sum could buy more than three million homes in the region, providing residence for 12m people, or more than a fifth of the UK’s population.

In Wales, where a house costs roughly £79,000, this works out to 10.8 million people housed – still a healthy return, you would think. But as you move further south, the picture changes dramatically.

In the south east, £219bn will get you around 1.3m homes, an average cost of £168,000, and in London, where money disappears faster than a weekend train timetable, this amount would not even buy a million homes.

Ouch!

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