Thursday, August 11, 2022

Huge property ownership gap between rich and poor across Scotland

The richest 10 per cent own about a third of Scottish housing wealth after buying houses following the financial crash, while everyone else was left behind

Soaring property wealth is creating a huge gulf between rich and poor across Scotland.

Expert research shows the richest continued to snap up multiple properties after the financial crash, while everyone else was left behind.

It means the gap in property wealth is twice as high as income inequality. And the richest 10 per cent own about a third of Scottish housing wealth.

The Resolution Foundation think-tank wants major reform of council tax – a levy described as “just as regressive as the Poll Tax”.

Its research and policy analyst George Bangham said Scotland needs to modernise its wealth taxes if it is to leverage this growing wealth and tackle inequality.

Bangham said that this should include replacing the council tax with a more progressive property tax to tackle growing wealth gaps across Scotland and encourage the spread of wealth to more families across the country.

In a report, the group revealed the legacy of price rises and the Tory “right to buy”.

Property wealth has increased in real terms from £34billion in 1968 to £300billion. The property bubble in 2001-2008 saw property wealth increase by 23.4 per cent a year before the reality of the financial crash.

One in three households do not own property but the richest 10 per cent own 30 per cent of all the nation’s property wealth.

The biggest gaps are in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow where low rates of ownership contrast with those owning multiple properties.

People born between 1981 and 1990 hold half the property wealth by their early 30s as those born in the previous decade by the same age. Owning property is now strongly linked to whether parents held property.

Bill Scott, chairman of the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Commission said, with so many people in Scotland struggling to find affordable homes, it is time to start considering action to redress this balance.


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