The UK's obsession with owning their own home has pushed the total value of residential property to its highest ever level, the Office for National Statistics has shown.
The value of household dwellings rose 3.9% between 2011 and 2012 to reach £4.4trn. This was higher than the previous 2007 peak of £4.3trn and nearly four times the value 20 years previously. The increase was attributed to house prices and the effects of inflation.
Springtide Capital managing director Henry Knight said: "We are a nation of homeowners. It is a cultural thing more than anything.
"Coupled with the fact we are an island and we have fairly strict planning rules people seem to see it as a safe, solid asset.
"People often like that in comparison to equities where they can't physically feel or understand it as much."
Approximately 55% of all household wealth in bricks and mortar, making residential property the UK's most valuable non-financial asset. Apart from a fall in 2008, household dwellings have steadily increased in value over the past decade.