Rise in number of people with second homes, buy-to-let and overseas properties

Rising additional property wealth in the past 20 years is a ‘flipside’ of falling home ownership Credit: PA

More than one in 10 people in Britain own second homes, buy-to-let and overseas properties worth a combined £941 billion, a new study suggests.

Research by the Resolution Foundation indicated rising additional property wealth in the past 20 years as a “flipside” of falling home ownership.

The report, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, said latest data – for 2014-16 – shows 5.5 million people reported additional property wealth, up 53% since 2001.

The value of additional property wealth has increased from around £610 billion in 2001 to £941 billion over the same period, it was found.

Additional property wealth is accumulated over time, and so is most common among older generations, said the report.

Around one in six people born in the 1950s have additional property wealth, the highest of any age group.

The report said that buy-to-let property is now the most common form of property wealth, having grown by 58% since 2006-08.

Around 1.9 million people have buy-to-let property wealth, compared to 970,000 people owning overseas property, which has not grown since 2008, said the think tank.

Policy analyst George Bangham said: “Multiple property wealth has grown rapidly over the last two decades.

“While young people in particular are less likely to own their own home than previous generations, those that do own are more likely to have more than one property.

“The sheer scale of additional property wealth is an important driver of rising wealth gaps across Britain.

“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.”