According to a recent report by Halifax Financial Services, the value of housing assets inherited in the UK could more than double – to £32bn – by 2020. Currently, approximately £14bn worth of housing assets is inherited annually. It is estimated that houses will represent over 60 per cent of the value of all assets inherited by 2020.
The surge reflects the social trend of increasing home ownership, with 70 per cent of families now owning their own homes.
With Inheritance Tax (IHT) at 40 per cent, and biting at a level which is exceeded by the value of many family homes, the figures represent a potential tax bonanza for the Government, which currently makes £3.4bn annually from IHT. It is estimated that nationally one in eight homes represents an IHT problem (one in two in London and the Home Counties).