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UK ownership of additional homes reaches almost £1t, raising inequality concerns

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The value of the UK's second homes, buy-to-let and overseas properties has reached almost 1 trillion pounds (S$1.73 trillion), raising concern about wealth inequality, according to the Resolution Foundation.

[LONDON] The value of the UK's second homes, buy-to-let and overseas properties has reached almost 1 trillion pounds (S$1.73 trillion), raising concern about wealth inequality, according to the Resolution Foundation.

About 5.5 million people own additional property, 53 per cent more than in 2001, but the beneficiaries are older people and the rich, the think tank said. By contrast, young people are struggling to afford their first home, with ownership rates much lower than they were for the previous generation at the same age.

The analysis, published Saturday, found that the buy-to-let craze has driven the increase in additional home ownership, with the baby boom generation born after World War II now receiving more than half of all rental income in the UK.

There is also a worrying divide within the younger generation, it argued, as millennial property ownership is increasingly concentrated among rich households.

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"The sheer scale of additional property wealth is an important driver of rising wealth gaps," said George Bangham, policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation. "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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