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Parents ‘getting tougher’ as fewer first-timers use family help to buy homes

  • 17/12/2020
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Parents ‘getting tougher’ as fewer first-timers use family help to buy homes
Fewer first-time buyers in England are relying on financial help from families or friends to get on the property ladder.


Just over a quarter of people taking their first step on the property ladder had help in 2019/20, down from 39 per cent in the previous two years, the English Housing Survey showed.

At the same time, 85 per cent of first-time buyers bought their house with savings, up from 76 per cent.

The survey also showed people with a mortgage spend 18 per cent of income on the loan, while private tenants spend 32 per cent of their income on rent.

The private rental sector accounted for 4.4 million or 19 per cent of households in 2019/20.

Almost two thirds of private tenants expect to buy at some point, but 39 per cent think it will take at least another five years.

Only 56 per cent of those aged 35-44 are owner occupiers, down from 67 per cent a decade earlier.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “The Bank of Mum and Dad is getting tougher.

“Over the last two years, the proportion of people getting help from family and friends when they buy a house has dropped dramatically. And this was before the pandemic kicked in.”

She noted that funding from families could dry up even faster now that parents and grandparents have to think more carefully as to whether they can afford to plunder their own finances.

“It means the vast majority of people who buy a home of their own have to do so under their own steam, and with an average deposit of £42,433, that’s an awful lot to ask – especially when those who are privately renting while they save for a place of their own spend almost a third of their income on rent,” she added.


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