20 November 2017

More than one-third of parents won't or can't help children get on the property ladder

5 min read

Helen Morrissey, Personal Finance Specialist
Helen Morrissey

Corporate PR Specialist – Long Term Savings


Over one-third (34%) of people say they have not and do not intend to offer financial support to children and grandchildren to help them get on the property ladder.

In a poll of 2,100 people carried out for Royal London people living in the East Midlands were least likely to offer support with 40% of respondents saying they had not, and did not intend to, offer financial assistance (see table below).

Table: Have you or do you intend to provide financial assistance to a child/grandchild to help them purchase a property?

  Yes I have or plan to provide financial assistance. (%) No. (%) Don’t know. (%)
Total %  28 34 38
North East 30 39 31
North West 25 37 38
Yorks and Humber 32 35 33
East Midlands 21 40 40
West Midlands 26 35 38
East of England 26 35 38
London 39 24 37
South East 29 30 41
South West 33 34 33
Wales 21 33 46
Scotland 28 30 42
Northern Ireland 26 30 44

Source: Opinium for Royal London.

They were followed by respondents in the North East where 39% of respondents said they did not intend/could not to offer this support. In the North West 37% of respondents gave this response as did 35% of parents/grandparents in Yorks and Humber, West Midlands and East of England.

The findings offer interesting insight in that they show not all parents are willing or able to act as the Bank of Mum and Dad to help loved ones purchase a property.

Despite this a sizeable proportion of parents are still willing and able to provide assistance to cash strapped family members. Overall parents in London were most likely to want or be able to help their offspring with 39% saying they either had or intend to help their children with a property purchase.

They were followed by respondents in the South West and Yorks and Humber where 33% and 32% of respondents respectively said they either had or intended to provide this support.

How much?

Of those who said they had, or planned to provide assistance, over one-third (37%) of respondents said they expected the amount provided to be less than £10,000. A further 28% said they had, or expected to provide somewhere between £10,000 and £20,000 to family members.

Interestingly more than one in ten (11%) of those who had or planned to provide financial assistance said they had or expected to provide in excess of £50,000 to children and grandchildren.

In terms of the conditions under which the money is handed over over half (57%) said the money should be seen as a gift that doesn’t need to be paid while a further 27% of respondents said the money should be seen as an advance on inheritance. Only 15% said they expected the money to be repaid.

Royal London Personal Finance Specialist Helen Morrissey said:

The rising phenomenon of the Bank of Mum and Dad has received much publicity but the findings make clear that not all parents have, or are willing, to offer financial support to children.

“There are several reasons for this. House prices in areas such as the North West and East Midlands are much lower than in areas such as London so it may be the case that parents and grandparents feel their family members do not need their support as much as in other areas of the UK.

“It may also be the case that these people have other demands on their money and cannot simply hand it over. Anyone looking to hand over money to help a loved one needs to ensure they take their own future needs into account before doing so as they do not want to leave themselves short of money at a later date.

- ENDS –

For further information please contact:

Helen Morrissey, Corporate PR Specialist – Long Term Savings

Notes to editor:

Royal London has produced a guide to the issues parents should consider before helping their children financially. Five things to consider before opening a branch of The Bank of Mum and Dad can be found at https://www.royallondon.com/about/media/good-with-your-money/

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £117 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,745 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2018.