Housing wealth inequality in Scotland


Professor Duncan Maclennan from Policy Scotland has contributed to a new report on housing wealth inequality that has informed the work of the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Commission.

There has been a growing appreciation in recent years that living standards are determined not just by income (the flow of money into a household) but also by wealth (the stock of money a household owns). Cover of the report Housing Wealth Inequality In Scotland with the Poverty and Inequality Commission logo

Wealth can take various forms: it can be held in financial instruments (for example, a savings account or as shares); in a private pension fund; or as a physical asset (for example, land, an art work or piece of jewellery). But the most visible way that households accumulate and store significant amounts of wealth is through the ownership of residential property.

From 2007-08, wealth inequalities in the UK and in Scotland have begun to grow. Moreover, as the total value of wealth has grown rapidly over time, the gap between those who hold wealth and those who do not has become ever more apparent. As a result, how wealth inequalities determine housing outcomes as well as broader questions of societal fairness have increasingly come to the fore.

A short summary report captures the main findings from two Scottish housing wealth inequalities studies carried out for the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Commission:

Housing Wealth Inequalities in Scotland: An Evidence Review

This report is an international evidence review designed to inform empirical knowledge and policy thinking regarding housing wealth inequality in Scotland.

It was produced by these researchers at the University of Glasgow:

  • Dr Adriana Mihaela Soaita, Urban Studies
  • Professor Ken Gibb, UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence
  • Professor Duncan Maclennan, Professor of Public Policy and Policy Scotland

Housing Wealth Inequalities in Scotland: An Evidence Review

Taking stock: Report for the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Commission

This report brings together a wide range of data sources to examine both the scale and distribution of housing wealth in Scotland over time. In light of the evidence, the authors then reflect on a number of ways that Scottish policy makers could address the growing concerns about the scale and impact of housing wealth inequality.

Produced by Lindsay Judge and George Banham, The Resolution Foundation

Taking stock: Report for the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Commission