The UK property sector requires a variety of skills, involved in all aspects of property across commercial, industrial, residential and agricultural sectors. The property industry is a diverse sector employing individuals across a range of sub-sectors including architecture, surveying, facilities management, planning, engineering, environment, development & management, investment, lettings & sales. According to Open University, there are approximately 360,000 people employed in the UK property and housing sectors working in over 105,000 organisations.
According to the IPF Size and Structure of UK Property Market, the total value of UK commercial property, which covers the three main sectors of retail, offices and industrials along with hotels, pubs and restaurants, leisure and miscellaneous types was estimated at £647bn in mid-2013. These sectors generate £50bn of rental income on an average yield of 7.8%. By value, 45% of this property is retail including pubs and restaurants, 28% is offices, whilst 18% and almost 9% respectively are industrial and ‘other commercial’. London now accounts for a little over a third of total value.
The total value of the UK’s residential stock is estimated to be £4,615bn (2013), seven times the size of the commercial property value. Almost all of this is privately owned, mainly by owner-occupiers but including about £837bn in the private rented sector. Housing associations, local and central government and their agencies account for about only £200bn of residential property value.