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One in 10 Britons has a second home, buy to let or overseas property

Some 10 per cent of Britons now own a second home, a buy to let or an overseas property according to new research by the Resolution Foundation. 

Game of Homes – a report funded by the Nuffield Foundation – looks at the growth of additional property wealth over the last two decades.

It shows that rising additional property wealth since 2001 has happened at the same time as principal home ownership has dipped. 


The latest data, for 2014-16, shows that 5.5m people have what the foundation calls “additional property wealth” - this is up 53 per cent since 2001. 

The value of additional property wealth has increased from around £610 billion in 2001 to £941 billion over the same period (both in 2018-19 prices).

Around one in six people born in the 1950s report additional property wealth, the highest of any demographic.

Younger generations are failing to match the home ownership rates of previous generations, with 37 per cent of people born in the 1980s having any property wealth - even a principal home - at age 29, compared to 50 per cent of people born in the 1960s.

However, seven per cent of those born in the 1960s and 1980s have a second home, buy to let or foreign property by the age of 29. 

Buy to lets are by far the most common; 1.9m people own one or more, compared to 970,000 people owning overseas property - this figure has not grown at all since 2008.

The Resolution Foundation says that the trend of rising multiple property ownership and falling home ownership, particularly among young people, reinforces the need for policy makers to encourage a more equitable distribution of housing wealth across the country.


“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” says George Bangham, policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation.

“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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