The rise of the ‘bank of mum and dad’

If the ‘bank of mum and dad’ was a real lender, it would be one of the biggest mortgage lenders in the UK. And the latest figures suggest that it’s continuing to grow.

As homeownership seems to slip further out of reach for many of the younger generation, how is the ‘bank of mum and dad’ lending a helping hand?

The research

Our research has revealed that first-time buyers today are three times more likely to have received help from their mum and dad than first-time buyers 30 years ago.

Three in every five (61%) first-time buyers who got on the property ladder in the last five years relied on financial help from either their parents or family. Over 30 years ago, only one in five (20%) first-time buyers who purchased a property say they received financial help from family.

We asked 4,000 UK adults of all ages about their views on property as part of our My Home, My Future campaign. The results showed that the percentage of first-time buyers relying on family funds has tripled in the last 30 years.

The number of first-time buyers needing help reached a peak of 67% in 2009-2013. Although the pressure on mum and dad has cooled off a little since then, down to 61%, the latest figures are still triple what they were 30 years ago.

One of the UK’s biggest lenders

The ‘bank of mum and dad’ is now one of the biggest lenders alongside traditional forms of financing.

Our research revealed the UK hotspots where the ‘bank of mum and dad’ is most called upon. First-time buyers in London and the North East are the most dependent on financial support from family, compared to those in the Midlands and East regions who are almost half as likely to need help.

Over half of UK renters (55%) say they want to own their own home in the future. This desire is highest amongst renters in their 20s, with two-thirds (68%) aspiring to be homeowners.

However, the reality is that millennial families are half as likely to own their own home by the age of 30 as baby boomers were by the same age.

How deep are mum and dad’s pockets?

Stephen Lowe, communications director at Just Group, commented: “Owning your own home is a deeply held ideal in our national psyche and today’s younger generation can see the financial and emotional benefits of getting onto the property ladder. But for many, unless they can count on financial help from family, it seems to be slipping further out of their reach.

“The sharp increase in property wealth in recent years has fuelled debate on whether the older generation has benefitted at the expense of the young. Whatever your view, it’s clear the bank of mum and dad has increasingly stepped in to help their children on to the property ladder. But how deep are the Bank of mum and dad’s pockets?

"People in their 50s are often referred to as the ‘sandwich generation’ – caught between supporting their children and their parents. For this group, planning for their own retirement is often pushed to the back burner while they deal with the day to day pressures– even though more than half of people in their 50s told us they are concerned about not having enough to retire on.

“It’s important that parents and grandparents balance their own long-term needs against their desire to help their family. Take stock of your financial situation before making any big decisions – it’s important to understand the long-term implications for everyone. There are lots of resources available, from meeting a regulated financial adviser through to the free and impartial guidance given by MoneyHelper.”


My Home My Future is our brand new campaign on how the UK thinks and feels about property. Learn more and discover real stories from real people today.