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October 13, 2016

Not just another brick in the wall

  • Research by Barclays Mortgages and the Cebr has found that the cost of a single brick, when calculated from the average price and size of a house in Britain, is £47.44
  • The same brick would have cost £35.70 in 2006, an increase of 33%
  • London has the most expensive average cost of a brick at £121.08, while Belfast has the cheapest at £22.09


Research announced today by Barclays Mortgages and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has found that the cost of a single brick, when calculated from the price and size of the average house in the UK, has increased 33% in the past decade.


The research found that in 2006, the cost of a brick was £35.70, but this has now risen to £47.44. A brick from a DIY shop costs on average only 89p[1], more than 50 times less that the average cost of a brick as part of a home in the UK.


This reflects the wider trend of UK house prices rising, brick by brick. Research by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has found that average house prices in the UK have increased 8.2% in the last year alone[2], continuing the strong growth that has been seen since the end of 2013.


The research by Barclays also found that the cost of bricks varied significantly between different regions.


The five regions in the UK with the most valuable bricks are:


Region Cost of a brick
1. London £121.08
2. Oxford £95.50
3. Cambridge £91.61
4. Brighton and Hove £71.53
5. Bristol £47.24


The most valuable brick in Britain can be found in London, with a cost of £121.08. This is followed by Oxford (£95.50), Cambridge (£91.61), Brighton and Hove (£71.53) and Bristol (£47.24).


The five regions in the UK with the cheapest bricks are:


Region Cost of a brick
1. Belfast £22.09
2. Glasgow £22.55
3. Liverpool £25.87
4. Nottingham £27.19
5. Leicester £28.58


Belfast is the place to get the most brick for your buck with the cheapest bricks in Britain at £22.09. However, Glasgow (£22.55), Liverpool (£25.87), Nottingham (£27.19) and Leicester (£28.58) are all challengers to this title.


The regional picture


York is the most expensive town in the North of England, with an average brick cost of £40.11. And with strong levels of investment in the city and continuing economic recovery across the region, this is forecast to increase by an additional £10 (25%) per brick by 2020.


Coventry has seen the fastest growth across the Midlands, with the average cost of a brick having increased by just under £5 (17%) between 2006 and 2015. House prices across the Midlands have risen sharply since 2013 due to economic recovery, leading to a notable pick-up in the average cost of a brick in the region.


The South of England has the most varied average cost of a brick. Plymouth has the lowest cost of a brick in the region at £32.56, following pressure from public sector cuts and continued weakness in sectors such as manufacturing. At the other end of the scale, a brick in Oxford is worth £95.50. This is mainly due to increased demands for properties in the city as more people opt to leave London.


Outside of London, Cambridge recorded the highest growth in the cost of a brick, with a skyscraper-high increase of 75% since 2006. This leaves the city, alongside its varsity rival Oxford, set to surpass £100 per brick average house prices in 2016.


And as one of the fasted growing economies in the UK despite Brexit, this growth is only expected to continue. Forecasts predict that by 2020, a brick in Cambridge will be £146.76, six times more than a brick in Belfast (£24.01) which is forecast to remain the UK’s cheapest major city.


Sarah Beeny, UK property expert and TV personality, says: “It is fascinating to see just how valuable each brick that makes up a home works out to be, and how this can change over time.


“Of course, there are no guarantees on which way house prices will go in the future, it is very much lead by planning law and supply and demand, but this research should go some way in boosting the confidence of home owners around the country. It really shows that property can be a great investment, and I would encourage people to get on the property ladder as soon as they can, even if this means looking in a new area where those all-important bricks are a little more purse-friendly!”


Raheel Ahmed, Head of Barclays Mortgages said: “We know how important it is for people to be able to buy their own home, and our latest research is a creative way to show how house prices are changing, as reflected by the 33% increase in the average cost of a brick since 2006.


“It is particularly interesting to see the regions and cities outside of London which are experiencing significant growth in house prices. While a North-South divide does remain, cities such as Sheffield, Nottingham and Leicester are experiencing strong growth, and this is forecast to continue through to 2020.


“It is also encouraging to see cities that have slowed down in growth, such as Belfast, showing signs of recovery in the future.”


For information on Barclays range of mortgages go to Barclays.co.uk/mortgages
or visit a mortgage advisor in branch to give you a better understanding of your options


For Further information:

Catherine Cuthbert, Barclays Media Relations

Telephone: 020 3134 6229

Email: Catherine.cuthbert@barclays.com


  Detached House Semi-Detached House Terrace House Flat
Average floor size in the UK 151.7sqm 93.2sqm 82.6sqm 56.9sqm
Average number of bricks (approx.) per property  











Table 1: Regional data of the varying cost of a brick from 2006-2020

City Cost of brick (2006) Cost of brick (2015) Forecast Cost of brick (2020)
Aberdeen £22.63 £39.04 £37.88
Belfast £25.64 £22.09 £24.01
Birmingham £29.45 £31.72 £35.79
Bournemouth £38.38 £45.35 £53.54
Bristol £37.75 £47.24 £59.46
Cambridge £52.37 £91.61 £146.76
Cardiff £33.65 £37.57 £40.24
Edinburgh £34.87 £38.99 £44.02
Glasgow £22.98 £22.55 £24.23
Leeds £30.43 £35.29 £43.18
Leicester £25.80 £28.58 £32.52
Liverpool £24.62 £25.87 £28.16
Manchester £28.45 £32.24 £40.87
Newcastle £31.78 £36.64 £42.39
Nottingham £23.82 £27.19 £30.63
Oxford £55.81 £95.50 £143.60
Portsmouth £32.50 £38.45 £46.43
Sheffield £27.80 £32.64 £39.75
Southampton £32.80 £37.26 £45.88
Brighton & Hove £47.44 £71.53 £105.30
Plymouth £29.90 £32.56 £37.18
York £34.75 £40.11 £50.58
Coventry £26.90 £31.58 £35.95
Lancashire £25.14 £30.38 £34.67
Norfolk £30.18 £43.32 £56.76
London £64.59 £121.08 £149.33



[1] The average price of a Facing Brick from Wickes as of June 2016 (http://www.wickes.co.uk/Products/Building-Materials/Bricks%2C-Blocks+Lintels/Bricks/Facing-Bricks/c/1001108)

[2] The Office for National Statistics House price index: April 2016 (https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/housepriceindex/april2016)

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