How many people had help from their parents to buy their first home?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
May 09, 2022, 8:37 AM GMT+0

Prior to the pandemic, the proportion of those getting help from the bank of mum and dad was double that of the 1990s

"Do well in school, get a good job, buy a house" is the generally accepted path through life we are taught to take. However, owning one's own home is increasingly becoming a pipe dream. The average house price is 65 times greater than what it was in 1970, but wages are only 36 times higher. Indeed, prices rose by 10.9%, or £27,000, in the year to February 2022 alone.

While young first-time buyers might look at properties cheaper than the average, the ever-increasing up-front sums required for a mortgage are unachievable for many – especially given the soaring cost of living.

It is understandable many will look to their families for help in getting on the property ladder – but has this always been the case? New YouGov research among homeowners looks at historically how many people have received financial help from their parents.

The data shows that the number of those getting family help has doubled since the turn of the millennium. Among those who purchased their first home between 2015 and 2019, half (54%) say they had some form of financial help from their parents. This compares to 27% of people who got their first home between 2000 and 2004.

While there has been a drop among the most recent first time buyers – those buying their first home from 2020 onwards – this is likely reflecting the impact of the pandemic rather than a broader societal shift.

The majority of the change over time has come in the form of help with deposits. Of those who purchased their first home between 1970 and 1974, 3% say their parents paid the entire deposit, and 4% say they paid some of it.

One in ten (10%) of those who got their first home between 1990 and 1994 say their parents helped with the deposit, a figure largely the same for those buying in 2000-2004 (13%).

However, sometime after 2005 parental help for house deposits began to increase sharply. One in five (22%) of those who bought between 2005 and 2009 had help with theirs, as did 28% who did so between 2010 and 2014.

Parental help peaked among those buying between 2015 and 2019 at 31% - including one in twelve (8%) whose parents paid the entire deposit.

Among the most recent buyers (2020 onwards), 24% say they had help with their deposit from family, including 6% who had the entire deposit paid for them, and 16% whose family contributed to it.

See full results here

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

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