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Second homes in the UK now worth nearly £1tn

Equity wealth from second homes in the UK has risen by more than 50% over the past two decades to reach nearly £1tn, according to a report that indicates growing inequality across the UK.

Total property wealth for UK residents from second homes, buy-to-let investments and overseas property has risen in value from around £610bn in 2001 to £941bn.

The number of British adults in families who have wealth from properties additional to their own home has risen by more than 50% this century to reach 5.5m.

The Resolution Foundation thinktank, which compiled the report based on the latest available figures, (2014-16), said the boom in the buy-to-let market and the rise of the amateur landlord was the flipside of falling levels of home ownership for the UK population. Of the estimated 23.2m households in England, 14.8m or 64% are owner-occupiers, down from a peak of 71% in 2003.

George Bangham, a policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The sheer scale of additional property wealth is an important driver of rising wealth gaps across Britain. And as the huge stock of second homes, buy-to-let and overseas properties starts to be passed on to younger generations, Britain risks becoming a country where getting ahead in life depends as much on what you inherit as what you earn.”

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