How useful is the Bank of Mum and Dad?

New research suggests that many parents may be unable - or unwilling - to help

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The Independent Online

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that last year only 36 per cent of first-time buyers managed to get onto the housing ladder without outside help (compared to more than 60 per cent before the credit crunch).

Based on a YouGov poll of more than 8,000 people for the CML, only a third of people who would like to move think that it is likely that they will do so in the next two or three years.

The most common reason cited, by 64 per cent of those who are potential first-time buyers, is insufficient savings. YouGov asked respondents if they thought they would need financial help from family or friends if they were to buy a new home, and the chances of such help actually materialising.

Among those who would like to buy a new home during the next couple of years, there was a strong need for financial help - 36 per cent said that they would be likely to need financial help from parents, other relatives or friends and in the 18 to 24 age group, this rose to 51 per cent.

However, 29 per cent of would-be first-time buyers believe that the help they need will not be forthcoming while just over half of potential first time buyers added that they thought the new Help to Buy scheme would improve their chances of buying a home, easing some of the pressure on reliance on family help.

"The fact that an increased reliance on the Bank of Mum and Dad over recent years has, until recently, gone hand in hand with sharply reduced numbers, illustrates that there are material limits to how much parental help can deliver," says the report, "both in terms of how many parents are in a position where they can offer help and the depth of their pockets. Our research illustrates that many parents or other family members or friends may be unable or unwilling to help at all, or not able to help as much as would be needed."