Changes in life expectancy and house prices in London from 2002 to 2019: hyper-resolution spatiotemporal analysis of death registration and real estate data

James E. Bennett, Theo Rashid, Alireza Zolfaghari, Yvonne Doyle, Esra Suel, Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, Bethan Davies, Daniela Fecht, Emily S. Muller, Ricky S. Nathvani, Noemie Sportiche, Hima Iyathooray Daby, Eric Johnson, Guangquan Li, Seth Flaxman, Mireille B. Toledano, Miqdad Asaria, Majid Ezzati*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: London has outperformed smaller towns and rural areas in terms of life expectancy increase. Our aim was to investigate life expectancy change at very-small-area level, and its relationship with house prices and their change. Methods: We performed a hyper-resolution spatiotemporal analysis from 2002 to 2019 for 4835 London Lower-layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs). We used population and death counts in a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate age- and sex-specific death rates for each LSOA, converted to life expectancy at birth using life table methods. We used data from the Land Registry via the real estate website Rightmove (, with information on property size, type and land tenure in a hierarchical model to estimate house prices at LSOA level. We used linear regressions to summarise how much life expectancy changed in relation to the combination of house prices in 2002 and their change from 2002 to 2019. We calculated the correlation between change in price and change in sociodemographic characteristics of the resident population of LSOAs and population turnover. Findings: In 134 (2.8%) of London's LSOAs for women and 32 (0.7%) for men, life expectancy may have declined from 2002 to 2019, with a posterior probability of a decline >80% in 41 (0.8%, women) and 14 (0.3%, men) LSOAs. The life expectancy increase in other LSOAs ranged from <2 years in 537 (11.1%) LSOAs for women and 214 (4.4%) for men to >10 years in 220 (4.6%) for women and 211 (4.4%) for men. The 2.5th-97.5th-percentile life expectancy difference across LSOAs increased from 11.1 (10.7–11.5) years in 2002 to 19.1 (18.4–19.7) years for women in 2019, and from 11.6 (11.3–12.0) years to 17.2 (16.7–17.8) years for men. In the 20% (men) and 30% (women) of LSOAs where house prices had been lowest in 2002, mainly in east and outer west London, life expectancy increased only in proportion to the rise in house prices. In contrast, in the 30% (men) and 60% (women) most expensive LSOAs in 2002, life expectancy increased solely independently of price change. Except for the 20% of LSOAs that had been most expensive in 2002, LSOAs with larger house price increases experienced larger growth in their population, especially among people of working ages (30–69 years), had a larger share of households who had not lived there in 2002, and improved their rankings in education, poverty and employment. Interpretation: Large gains in area life expectancy in London occurred either where house prices were already high, or in areas where house prices grew the most. In the latter group, the increases in life expectancy may be driven, in part, by changing population demographics. Funding: Wellcome Trust; UKRI (MRC); Imperial College London; National Institutes of Health Research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100580
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Europe
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

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  • Health inequality
  • House prices
  • Life expectancy
  • Small area


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