Church Of England’s Religious Real Estate Portfolio
The Church of England will have benefitted from some significant property price growth since its foundation in 1534 and the latest research by Yes Homebuyers estimates that across England, the CofE is sitting on a religious real estate portfolio to the tune of £10.3bn.
Yes Homebuyers looked at the number of Church of England churches in each area of England and the size of this property portfolio based on the estimated square footage. Yes Homebuyers then looked at what this equates to from a residential standpoint based on current property market values.
Oxford tops the table with 811 CofE churches covering an estimated 1,697,423 square feet in the area. With the current Oxford home going for £561 per square foot, the CofE is sitting on an impressive portfolio to the tune of £953m in Oxford alone.
London also ranks high in the CofE property portfolio, with 475 churches equating to 994,175 square feet of bricks and mortar worth an estimated £624,274,221.
St Albans (£571m), Bath &Wells (£555m), Chelmsford (£527m), Chichester (£513m), Southwark (£488m), Salisbury (£448m), Winchester (£447.5m) and Exeter (£428m) also rank in the top 10.
At the other end of the table, the Diocese of Sodor and Man is the CofE’s smallest diocese, with just 39 churches on the Isle of Man. Even still, the 81,627 estimated square feet of religious real estate is valued just shy of £27.5m in today’s market.
The Most Valuable Real Estate Portfolios
Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented:
“With so many churches the length and breadth of the nation, it’s fair to say that the Church of England is probably sitting on one of the most valuable real estate portfolios around.
Some may question whether such a vast level of real estate is required when attendance has fallen, and we remain pushed for space when addressing the current housing crisis.
Should the Church of England decide to offload some of its portfolio, it would add a considerable sum to their balance sheet based on current market values.”
|Table shows the estimated real estate value of CofE churches based on square footage in each location and across England as a whole|
|Location||Number of CofE churches||Total estimated sq ft*||Average house price – Dec 2020||Average price per sq ft**||Total estimated value of sq ft area***|
|Bath & Wells||559||1,169,987||£374,959||£474.63||£555,312,703|
|St. Edms & Ipswich||479||1,002,547||£275,123||£348.26||£349,144,394|
|Southwell & Nottingham||296||619,528||£197,856||£250.45||£155,161,352|
|Sodor & Man||39||81,627||£266,000||£336.71||£27,484,534|
|Church of England – overall||15,496||32,433,128||£251,907||£318.87||£10,341,954,232|
*Based on the average size of a church at 2093 sq ft.
**Based on the average size of a house at 790 sq ft.
*** Total sq ft of churches multiplied by property value per sq ft.
Number of churches across England and in each diocese sourced from churchofengland.org