Younger generation set to enjoy 'inheritance boom', report predicts

Younger people will enjoy the biggest "inheritance boom" of any post-war generation, but it will be too late to solve the housing crisis and wealth inequality woes, according to a new report.

The Resolution Foundation said wealth accumulated by older people would benefit younger generations in years to come.

The think tank said inheritances would double over the next 20 years as so-called baby boomers - born between 1946 and 1965 - became older.

Almost two thirds of people aged 20 to 35 have parents who own property, which they might expect to get a share of in the future, said the report.

By contrast, fewer than two in five adults born in the 1930s received an inheritance.

The Foundation said so-called millennials, born between 1981 and 2000, who are yet to get on the housing ladder, are less likely to have property passed on to them.

Even for millennials who can expect an inheritance, this may happen far too late to help them on to the housing ladder, and may be more use for grandchildren's home ownership, it was claimed.

Based on their parents' life expectancies, the Foundation estimated that the most common age at which millennials inherit would be 61.

Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "Older generations have benefited hugely from the big increases in household wealth in Britain over recent decades.

"While the millennials have done far less well in accumulating their own assets, they are likely to benefit from an inheritance boom in the decades ahead.

"This is likely to be very welcome news for those millennials, including some from poorer backgrounds, who in the past would have been unlikely to receive bequests. They have the good fortune to benefit from the luck of the baby boomer generation.

"But inheritance is not the silver bullet that will get a whole new generation on the housing ladder or address growing wealth gaps in society.

"Even for those millennials who will receive a bequest, it's unlikely to come when they're coupling up, having children, and trying to buy a family home when the extra wealth would be much needed, but as they approach retirement instead."