Research suggests that around 5.2 million UK adults, the equivalent of one in 10, have either inherited or bought a second home.
Figures provided by the think tank the Resolution Foundation, said that the number of people owning more than one home grew by 30 per cent between 2002 and 2014. These figures include buy-to-let landlords and those who own separate properties to live in.
There was also a rise in the number of British adults that do not own property over this period, as four in 10 adults do not own a home.
The study concluded that the gap between those who possess wealth in property and those who own no property is growing.
£60m a year is being spent by the government to help coastal and rural areas that are most affected by second home ownership, with this including places like Cornwall and Cumbria. This money is raised through the Stamp Duty surcharge and is used to support first-time buyers.
Those aged between 52 and 71 are the most likely to own a second home, with the majority of these second home owners living in the south of England.
“Contrary to the popular narrative, these second home owners are rarely your typical middle-income worker shoring up savings, or ordinary retirees boosting pension income,” said Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation.
“They tend to be baby boomers who are very wealthy indeed relative to their peers, living in the south and east of England.”
People born after 1981 account for just 3 per cent of second home owners.
April 2016 saw the introduction of higher rates of Stamp Duty in England and Wales, as well as higher Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) in Scotland, both of which has severely impacted those looking to purchase second homes. Landlords are also no longer able to claim tax relief on mortgage payments, with this change being phased in between April 2017 and 2020.
Despite the advent of these clamp-downs, the Resolution Foundation demand more action from the government to narrow the property wealth gap.
“Policy makers should consider what more can be done to ensure that home ownership doesn’t become the preserve of the wealthy for generations to come,” said Ms Gardiner.