Homeowners over the age of 50 hold 75pc of Britain’s housing wealth, according to new research, revealing the huge generational divide in the property market.

The Telegraph reports that older owner occupiers hold a total of £2.8 trillion in equity, equivalent to more than £75 in every £100. By comparison, the under 35s account for less than £6 in every £100 of equity held by owner occupiers.

The research, by global property adviser Savills, found that older households are most dominant in the South West, where the over65s own almost half (48pc) of all homeowner equity and are worth a collective £176bn. Combine this group with the over-50s, and together they own 80pc of the region’s owner occupier equity, a total of £293bn.

At the other end of the scale, the under 35s account for just 4pc with £15bn of housing wealth across the region.

The generational divide is less significant in the capital, where the over-50s account for 65pc of housing wealth held by owner occupiers, compared to 11pc for the under 35s. This is partly because London is a hub for young professionals, with the city boasting an average age of 36 compared with 40 across the rest of the UK.

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 home owners making a lifestyle move, making the region arguably the country’s largest naturally occurring retirement community.”

Unsurprisingly, the over 65s also have less mortgage debt – around £112bn collectively, compared to £117bn for the under 35s.

Home ownership in the UK is becoming a distant dream for many, with those aged 25-34 significantly less likely to own a home today than they were 20 years ago. A Government survey found that 4.7m households (20.3pc) now rent privately, up from two million (10pc) in 2000.

Meanwhile, the proportion of households in Britain that own their home has dropped from 70.6pc to 62.6pc.

Despite this trend away from home ownership, the number of people who want to buy a property remains unchanged, with the proportion of renters expecting to buy at some point hovering around 60pc.

(Story source: Telegraph)

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