House prices uk
The rich are getting richer in the UK, but it is down to pensions not property Getty Images

The gap between the richest and poorest households in Britain is becoming ever more gaping as the top 10% of households got 21% richer in the period between 2012-2014 according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). In comparison, the wealth of the poorest households increased by only 7% during the same period with the authority admitting that the "disparity in the change was large".

Those in the wealthiest 10% also kept hold of 45% of the total aggregate household wealth, reflecting an increasingly divided Britain. In the poorest of households across the UK, the figure was a paltry 9% of household wealth. The average household wealth across Britain was £225,100 up 4% or £8,600 on the 2012 figure of 216,500.

Those in mid-income households witnessed a 17% rise in their fiscal circumstances according to the ONS, while the total wealth of all households in Britain was £11.1tr, according to the authority's Wealth and Assets Survey. This was a rise of 18% on the previous two-year period.

The core reason for the increase for the top 10% was the rise in private pension wealth not an increase in property values, according to the ONS. On average, the amount of household wealth represented by property decreased from 37% to 35% over the period. In contrast, private pension wealth increased from 37% of assets to 40%. Those in the bottom 50% have much more of their wealth in physical assets, such as cars or household goods.

A statement from the ONS commenting on the findings said: "The distribution of wealth is highly skewed towards the top." Earlier this week figures from the ONS stated that the average cost of a home in the UK is now £287,000 due to a 0.8% rise in October. It added that the annual rate of price growth has increased for the third month running and is now 7%, up from 6.1% in September and 5.5% in August.