A report shows 45pc of homes are owned by the richest 10pc The wealth gap among city dwellers is widening further as rich urban families accumulate assets quickly, a report said yesterday. The report, by the research institute of the Ministry of Finance, indicated assets were more unevenly distributed among city dwellers than regular incomes. The latest figures show 45 per cent of private properties in cities are now in the hands of the richest 10 per cent of urban households. The poorest 10 per cent share a meagre 1.4 per cent. Financial assets are also flowing into the accounts of the richest families, with the top 20 per cent controlling 66.4 per cent of the private financial assets in cities. The report said the Gini coefficient of city wealth now stands at an alarming rate of 0.51. The Gini coefficient is an indicator of inequality, with the figure one representing absolute inequality and an average score of 0.4 widely considered a high-risk level. In the first quarter of last year, the earnings of the top 20 per cent of high income groups comprised 46.2 per cent of the total earnings of city residents. The widening gap among city residents is set to complicate the fight against the ever-growing income disparity - particularly that between city and rural residents. The national Gini coefficient has already passed the international warning level of 0.4. In the year 2000, the latest for which the information is available, the Gini coefficient had already reached 0.458. The report urged the central government to set up a national system to monitor all incomes of residents and adjust personal income tax brackets. It said the government should adopt lower tax rates for those earning between 3,000 and 5,000 yuan (HK$2,800 and HK$4,700) per month - the group considered to be the country's middle class. It said taxing the middle class too much would stifle the mainland's consumer spending and weaken economic growth.