Two-thirds of UK parents help children on to property ladder

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 5:01am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 5:01am

Almost two-thirds of first-time British homebuyers are turning to their parents for financial help, a survey said, underscoring concerns about the booming housing market.

With house prices rising at about 10 per cent a year and lending criteria tightening since the 2008 financial crisis, banks are demanding buyers pay more of the purchase price up front to qualify to borrow the rest, prompting many to ask their parents for money.

A survey of 20 to 45 year olds by mortgage lender Halifax showed 63 per cent who had bought a property had received help from their parents.

"For many buyers, parental support is now the fundamental first step on to the property ladder," said Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax.

House prices outside London have not recovered their pre-crisis levels, but the rapid rise is causing concern among some policymakers at the Bank of England, who may take cautious steps to cool the market as early as next month.

The Halifax survey showed that 57 per cent of parents of those surveyed expect to have to help their children buy their first property, or have already done so.

It found 27 per cent of parents had dipped into their savings to help, and 10 per cent had handed out an early inheritance.