The baby boomer generation is the wealthiest ever – mainly due to the decade long boom in buy to let property investment.
The number of adults owning more than one property has surged by 300% from 1.6 million in 2002 to 5.2 million in 2014.
With one in 10 adults owning multiple properties, a study by financial think tank the Resolution Foundation, has revealed the richest property owners were born between 1946 and 1965.
This age group hold 52% of the nation’s wealth locked in the ownership of multiple properties, which adds up to nearly £400 billion and getting on for 10% of the £5.2 trillion gross value of property in the UK.
The research also revealed personal net wealth of multiple homeowners has grown in the past decade from £120,000 to £150,000 – an increase of 20%.
Younger generations not so well off
Baby boomers are also wealthier than their parents or grandparents at the same stage of life.
This wealth does not extend to younger generations.
Adults born between 1966 and 1980 have 25% of the UK’s property wealth, while those born after 1981 only hold 3%. They are also the first age group recorded who have less wealth than the preceding generations had at the same age.
The study also showed that 40% of adults do not own a home – a rise of 12.5% since 2002.
The foundation also remarked that the data highlighted that 80% of landlords are in the richest 50% of the UK’s top earners, and that 59% of these landlords live in London or the South of England.
“Holding assets in more than one property has grown in recent decades, and can be a huge boon to both wealth and incomes,” said report author Laura Gardiner.
Tackling the housing crisis
“Second home owners are mainly adults in prime age or early retirement, are rich and wealthy even among their peers, and are most likely to be living in the south of England. There are individual exceptions, but stepping back to the big picture: if you were painting an image of society’s affluent, this would be it.”
Because private landlords are so rich, the government should take action to tackle the worsening homes crisis, Gardiner suggests.
“These steps have pros and cons, but there’s a case for thinking even more broadly – from implementing the commitment to tackle empty homes in the recent housing white paper, to greater regulation of private landlords and increased security of tenure to shore up tenants’ position,” she said.
“From a taxation perspective, the reality of a larger second home owning group, made up largely of older, very affluent people cannot be ignored as we wrestle with the public finance pressures of an ageing society.”