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Millennials set to become ‘richest generation in history’ – but only when their parents die

Young people will eventually enjoy the fruits of booming property values (Alamy/PA)
Young people will eventually enjoy the fruits of booming property values (Alamy/PA)

Millennials will become the richest generation in history once their parents have died, according to a study.

The research showed that those deemed to be in the millennial generation are set to massively benefit as a result of their baby boomer parents, with one in three in this age group said to have built up significant wealth over the course of their lives. This is mainly in the form of property but also can be as shares and bonds.

Data collated by estate agents Knight Frank found that those born between 1980 and 1994 will be in for a “massive transfer of wealth and assets” in their lifetimes, with the majority of these transactions happening across the next 20 years. This transfer of equity will make that age group the wealthiest ever born.

The report said: “When the silent generation (born from 1925 to 1945), the baby boomers (1946-1964) and the oldest cohort of Generation X (1965-1979), die, £2.5 trillion in wealth tied up in their homes will be freed up.”

The estate agent’s annual wealth report added that the transfer of finances to younger people means the housing market will drastically change as the new generation comes in and changes the scope of what is seen as a desirable home.

Millennials are expected to seek greener homes, plus will “buy more environmentally friendly goods and make more sustainable investments.”

Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank, said: “The implications for investment managers and financial advisers, or for anyone else working with these new cohorts that will become wealthier, will be quite significant.”

An analysis by Savills last year found that over-65s have £2.588 trillion in equity tied up in property – £2.183 trillion in residential properties and £405 billion in rental – and only £147 billion in mortgage debt.