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How much help parents really give their children to get on the property ladder REVEALED… and many will be getting deposits as Christmas presents this year

9th December 2021

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of parents say they contributed to the deposit of their adult children’s homes

  • On average, parents contributed a whopping £32,440 with many saying their children would not have been able to get on the property ladder without their support

  • But some parents do so out of guilt – with half believing it was much easier for them to get on the housing ladder than it is for young people today 

  • The help doesn’t stop there; a third of parents have had to pay their children’s rent or mortgage at some point

  • Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of grown up children are set to be given money towards a deposit as a Christmas present this year 


Thursday 9 December, 2021, London: As the season of gifting approaches, new figures from Zoopla, the UK’s leading property destination, reveal that two thirds (64%) of parents whose adult children own a home say they gifted them money towards the deposit, with the average contribution amounting to a huge £32,440. An additional 10% say that, whilst they did not contribute, other family members did. The figures shine a light on just how few young adults who own homes today were able to get on the property ladder independently, with around three quarters receiving financial help from family. 


For some parents, the generosity went even further - 14% say that they gave their grown up kids over £50,000 towards their home; meanwhile more than 1 in 10 (11%) say that they paid the entire deposit. In addition, four per cent went even further and bought their child the entire home, mortgage-free. 


Why do parents help? 

The research demonstrates that parents help their children for a number of reasons. Amongst those who have, 25% say it was simply because they could afford to, whilst 24% say their children would never have been able to afford to buy a home otherwise. Meanwhile, 18% said it was a result of guilt or sympathy – believing it is much harder for younger people today to get on the property ladder than it was for them.  


Deposit can just be the start

For many parents, a deposit is just the start of the financial help they give their children when it comes to their home. Indeed, seventeen per cent of parents whose adult children live away from home say they currently help them with rent or mortgage payments – eight per cent say they do so every month. In total, over a third (36%) say they have helped with rent or mortgage payments at some stage. 


It isn’t just rent and mortgage payments parents are helping with either. More than one in ten parents whose children live away from home (11%) say they give their adult children a regular allowance for home-related expenses, whilst 28% offer them support, albeit not a regular amount. 


Deposits as presents 

The research shows that many grown-ups will be receiving money towards a home purchase in their stocking from their parents this year. Three per cent of parents in the UK with children over the age of 18 – which equates to hundreds of thousands of people across the country – say they plan to give their children money towards a deposit for a home for Christmas this year. Meanwhile, four per cent say they have done so for Christmases in the past. This suggests that the trend will be more popular than usual this year. 


It is not just deposits that parents are giving their children as presents for special occasions. Nearly one in ten parents whose grown-up children own a home (8%) say they have given them money for their mortgage as a Christmas or birthday present, whilst 11% of parents whose children live away from home say they have given them money for rent as a present. Even more (15%) have given them money for bills, repairs (13%) or decorating costs (12%) as a Christmas or birthday present. 


Are we right to be helping our children to this extent?

Is all this help right, given that some parents are more financially able than others? Over half of all respondents in the survey (53%) think that parents should help their children get on the property ladder if they can afford to, whilst 12% think parents should help no matter what. 


Over half of parents (55%) say they believe that it was easier for older generations to get on the property ladder, and 50% believe that most younger adults would not be able to get on the property ladder today without help from their parents. 


Daniel Copley, consumer expert, Zoopla, comments: “Whilst it is accepted that many parents give their children help to get on the property ladder, these new figures reveal just how high a proportion of young adults who own homes today have had financial support from their family. It shows that those who managed to ‘go it alone’ and purchase a home without parental support are very much in the minority and that the transfer of intergenerational housing wealth is key. When looking at the data, it is very clear that average house prices in the UK have increased at a greater rate than salaries over recent decades, reinforcing  the notion that it is harder for young adults to get on the property ladder today than it was for previous generations. 


“Despite the financial hurdle that a first home purchase can present, Zoopla data demonstrates that first-time buyers are prolific in the market and have been for some time. Putting more money towards the purchase of a home can help reduce mortgage payments and in turn can unlock lower interest rates, so it’s clear that, when it comes to property, the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ will be in business for a long time to come.” 



- Ends -

For further information, please contact PR Team on [email protected] or +44 (0)20 3873 8770.

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