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London remains ‘most prosperous UK city’ but others are catching up

London remains the most prosperous city in the UK, but increasing house prices are creating a number of wealth hot spots in areas outside the capital, new findings suggest.

Residential property prices in Bristol and Cambridge have increased by 14% and 13% respectively over the past 12 months, outstripping the 11% growth recorded in the capital, according to the report from Barclays.

According to Barclays’ Prosperity index, a sharp rise in entrepreneurs beyond the South East of England has also helped drive prosperity across the UK, particularly in places like Manchester, Cardiff and Sheffield.


While London remains the most affluent area in terms of the number of millionaires, earnings and sky-high property prices, with wealth in the city up 12% year-on-year, it was Scotland that enjoyed the biggest increase in household wealth over the period, with a rise of 13% over the year, fuelled largely by private pension wealth growth, Barclays said.  

The North East of England emerged as the least prosperous region in the UK, and yet the average earnings in the region increased by 6% in the year.

Akshaya Bhargava, head of Barclays' wealth division, said: “It is very encouraging to see the upward trajectory for prosperity in the UK continuing despite recent global volatility - both in terms of hard economic measures, as well as more behavioural aspects of prosperity, such as exam results or philanthropic giving.

“As we look at the future of global trade and inward investment post-Brexit it is the success of our entrepreneurs that will help drive future prosperity.”

UK prosperity by region  

1 London 0.78

2 South East 0.58

3 Eastern England 0.42

4 South West 0.37

5 Northern Ireland 0.34

6 East Midlands 0.30

7 Scotland 0.27

8 North West 0.26

9 West Midlands 0.24

10 Wales 0.23

11 Yorkshire and the Humber 0.21

12 North East 0.12

Source: Barclays


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