The latest data from Savills looking at UK homeownership has revealed that the amount of the nation’s property wealth held by the older generation is on the rise, while youngsters are increasingly less likely to own a home.
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It has emerged that around three quarters of the UK’s housing wealth is owned by over-50s – which amounts to a total of £2.8trn, or £75 in every £100, according to Savills. Focusing in on specific age groups, it seems that the over-65s are the biggest winners in the property investment stakes, holding around 40%, or £1.6trn, of the country’s real estate wealth.
By contrast, under-35s own just 6%, or £221bn in equity across the country. This news comes on the back of recent statistics from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, showing that the 25-34-year-old age group are around half as likely to own a property now than they were 20 years ago.
The statistics reiterate the fact that homeownership levels in this country are changing, and attitudes have been adapting for some time. While it was once the ultimate goal and aspiration for everyone to be able to buy their own home, growing numbers of people are choosing renting as a lifestyle option – particularly young professionals who enjoy the flexibility of renting, rather than being tied down by a hefty mortgage.
The great divide – by necessity or choice?
In London, where the average inhabitant is 36 years old as opposed to the UK national average of 40, around 65% of all property wealth is owned by over-50s, with 11% owned by under-35s, presenting a slightly more balanced picture in generational terms.
Meanwhile, the south-west of the UK has seen the most marked difference between age groups in terms of property equity, with over-65s possessing almost half (48%) of all housing wealth in the region, and that age group combined with those aged over 50 own around 80% in total, compared to under-35s who own just 4%.
Lawrence Bowles, Savills research analyst, said: “Our analysis shows that there’s truth in the old stereotype of affluent households selling up in London for a ‘move to the country’.
“The figures for the south-west of England are evidence of the trend for older homeowners making a lifestyle move, making the region arguably the country’s largest naturally occurring retirement community.”