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Bank of Mum and Dad gifts £35bn to help kids onto the housing ladder

by: Peter Taberner
  • 01/12/2023
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Bank of Mum and Dad gifts £35bn to help kids onto the housing ladder
More than £35bn has been handed over from parents to children and grandchildren to help them buy their first home, according to a life insurance firm.

The latest Life Well Spent report carried out by SunLife found that six million of the over 50s have given significant funds to family over the past five years.

The study showed that on average £15,978 has been handed over to help cover various costs, including debts or money spent on cars and holidays.

But the key reason for dipping into the Bank of Mum and Dad was to help family members onto the property ladder.

The report revealed that 20 per cent of the over 50s who have gifted funds to family members, which is the equivalent to 1.2 million people, did so to help a loved one pay for a deposit on a home purchase.

In just over nine out of ten cases parents helped their children, while one in 14 gave grandkids the capital to help them purchase a home.


Regional differences

Regional disparities were also uncovered in the SunLife study. Areas where children or grandchildren have been helped along most are the North West, East Anglia and London, where 26 per cent of families helped children onto the ladder.

Those buying in London needed the most financial support, as the average amount given by parents over 50 was just under £84,000.

The first-time buyer deposit in the capital is just shy of £64,000, the financial services firm revealed in the report.

While in the North West and East Anglia the amounts gifted were far less at £39,539 and £19,740 respectively.

Family support ‘a priority

Mark Screeton, the CEO at SunLife said: “Our Life Well Spent report shows that financially supporting family is a priority for many over 50s. And given 27 per cent say that one of their biggest financial worries is how their children and grandchildren are coping financially, is perhaps no surprise that so many want to help out.

“The research shows that over 50s are gifting cash for a range of different reasons, from simply wanting to treat a loved one with an extravagant birthday or Christmas gift, to something more specific, like helping with a house deposit or to buy a car.

“And while financial need is a clear driver for why over 50s are giving so generously, there is another factor at play – happiness – with 81 per cent of those who have gifted cash saying that doing so increased their overall happiness.”

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