second home ownership for Central Housing Group

More than five million Brits own a second home

One in 10 adults in this country now own a second home – either to live in themselves or as buy-to-let landlords, new research shows.

A study undertaken by think tank the Resolution Foundation found that around 5.2 million Brits owned a second home in this country between 2012 and 2014, with baby boomers – those currently aged between 52 and 71 – most likely to own an additional property.

The research revealed that baby boomers own 52% of all the wealth held in additional properties, with most living in southern England.

Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Contrary to the popular narrative, these second homeowners are rarely your typical middle-income worker shoring up savings or ordinary retiree boosting pension income. They tend to be baby boomers who are very wealthy indeed relative to their peers, living in the south and east of England.”

But despite the rise in the number of additional homeowners, some 40% of baby boomers do not own a home at all.

The foundation also found that Generation X, currently aged 37 to 51, accounts for 25% of wealth from multiple properties, while millennials, who were born since 1981, own just 3% of multiple properties and are the first group since records began to have fewer properties than previous generations of the same age owned.

Gardiner continued: “People with second homes not only have an investment that they can turn to in times of need – for instance, in later life when care is required – but if the property is rented out, they also see a boost to their incomes here and now.

“With young people much less likely to own a home at all than their predecessors at the same age, the growing concentration of property wealth among fewer families raises concerns not just for their living standards but for wealth inequality of our country as a whole.”

Gardiner believes that further measures are needed to help aspiring homeowners get a foot on the housing ladder.

“Policy makers should consider what more can be done to ensure that homeownership doesn’t become the preserve of the wealthy for generations to come,” she added.

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