First time buyers and parents disagree over difficulty of owning a home

HalifaxA new report has found a wide disconnect between prospective first-time buyers and their parents with regards to their perception of the first-time buyer market.

While just 12 per cent of parents believe it is “virtually impossible for first-time buyers to obtain a mortgage” this rises to 21 per cent of prospective first-time buyers.

The Generation Rent report by Halifax contains data from interviews with over 40,000 20-45 year olds built up over five years, and over 4,000 parents of 20-45 year olds over the last four years. In recent years, it has shown parents and Generation Renters were both more pessimistic about the first-time buyer market (with 21 per cent of parents and 29 per cent of prospective first-time buyers saying it was virtually impossible three years ago in 2012).

However, with improving economic conditions and an increasing number of first-time buyers since then, both parents and prospective first-time buyers have become more optimistic – although more than a fifth of Generation Renters still believe it’s virtually impossible.

Despite increased optimism from parents the Generation Rent report also found that first-time buyers moving back in with Mum and Dad is a growing issue, and in 2015 28 per cent of parents said their children moved back to their family home, compared to 24 per cent in 2012.

Looking at how parents have supported their children in buying their first home, it becomes apparent that direct parental contributions towards the costs of a mortgage have remained steady.

While a contribution towards a deposit has remained the single largest type of contribution the numbers have remained steady. The only increase in the last four years has been those helping with the actual costs of moving house.

A total of 57 per cent of parents who own a property reported to having contributed, or planning to contribute, towards their child’s deposit, compared with 24 per cent of parents who rent. Furthermore, 24 per cent of parents who own said that they were, or plan to be a guarantor on a mortgage compared with just 7 per cent of parents who rent.

As parental help is evidently more important for the people who want to get on the property ladder, it is interesting to note that parents who own their own home are more likely to help their children than those who rent. This clearly emphasises the importance of property ownership for the prosperity of future generations.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that a quarter of all young people aged 20 to 34 in Scotland currently live with their parents. Many have returned to the family home after studying – or have never left – with many claiming that a difficult jobs market and rising property prices make it impossible to live independently.

Meanwhile, 57 per cent of parents who own a property reported to having contributed, or planning to contribute, towards their child’s deposit, compared with just 24 per cent of parents who rent.

The Scottish Government last month closed this year’s Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme, which assists buyers in purchasing a new-build home from a participating home builder without having to fund all of the purchase price. The scheme had allocated £100 million of funding from April this year – plus an extra £30m for the Small Developers scheme – a smaller amount than was available last year.

Craig McKinlay, Mortgage Director, Halifax, said: “The Generation Rent report shows a clear divide between parents and their children as regards optimism over getting on the housing ladder. In reality there are more mortgages available which require a 5 per cent deposit and first-time buyer numbers are increasing. But whether it is giving their children a cash lump sum or providing a roof over their heads while they save, it is clear the bank of mum and dad will have a role to play in helping their children get on the property ladder for the foreseeable future.”

Share icon
Share this article: