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A Nation of Inheritors? Housing Inheritance, Wealth and Inequality in Britain*

  • Chris Hamnett

Abstract

This paper examines the growth of housing inheritance in Britain since the late 1960s using Inland Revenue statistics. It also uses survey evidence to examine the uneven distribution of inheritance by housing tenure, class and region, and assesses its implications for consumption cleavage theory. It argues that at present the social distribution of housing inheritance is far from equal, benefiting home owners and the professional and managerial classes, but that, over the next 40 years, it will become much more widespread as the post-war generation of home owners bequeathes property. It is likely, however, that the children of tenants will be generally excluded from housing inheritance which is largely confined to the children of home owners.

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Journal of Social Policy
  • ISSN: 0047-2794
  • EISSN: 1469-7823
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-social-policy
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