Parents struggle help children buy homes

Parents stuggle to help their children get onto the property ladder.
Parents stuggle to help their children get onto the property ladder.
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As the majority of homes in Leeds remains unaffordable for first-time buyers, a new study has suggested help from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ is unlikely to help Yorkshire house hunters get onto the property ladder.

A YouGov poll by housing charity Shelter has found that nationally, first time buyers are being given an average of £23,000 by their parents to help them buy their homes.

But in Yorkshire, 60 per cent of parents said they couldn’t afford to save any money for their children’s future.

The figures follow additional research by the charity which found over 70 per cent of homes in Leeds are unaffordable for first-time buyers.

The study looked at the household incomes for average working families looking to buy their first home and the properties for sale - assuming they were able to save the 18 per cent deposit, the average size deposit for a first-time buyer.

It found single people had the least chance of getting a food on the property ladder.

In Leeds, the charity found 89 per cent of homes were unaffordable for one-income ‘single person’ households.

For ‘couples with children’ households - based on one full time salary and one part time - 73 per cent of Leeds homes were found to be unaffordable.

Even ‘couples without children’, who have two full-time incomes, were likely to struggle - finding 45 per cent of homes in the city unaffordable.

With house prices rising, and the lack of affordable homes, Shelter’s latest research shows young people and families who can’t rely on help from their parents will find that a home of their own is becoming an ever more distant dream. Offering big cash sums is not possible for the 60 per cent of Yorkshire parents said they could not support their children as they are feeling financially squeezed themselves.

And in a sign of the increasing strain put on the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ the YouGov poll also found that a fifth of parents who had helped their children onto the housing ladder used savings set aside for retirement or elderly care.

According to the survey, over one in four - 27 per cent - had to cut back on their own day to day spending to help their children.

As reported in the YEP, housing chiefs in Leeds have major plans to build more houses to meet the demand for affordable homes.

Ambitious plans aim to deliver around 70,000 homes in the city by 2028, with 5,000 homes in the East Leeds Extension project hoping to kickstart developments.

But they can’t be built quick enough, according to Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive.

He said: “When parents are having to hand over such vast sums of money to help their children afford a stable home, it is yet another sign that the housing market is spinning out of control.

“And the reality is that most parents could only dream of giving their children £23,000 to help them onto the housing ladder.

“A whole generation of young people are working hard and saving hard, but our desperate shortage of affordable homes still leaves them priced out.

“Instead they have to choose between becoming part of the ‘clipped wing generation’ stuck living in their childhood bedrooms, or ‘generation rent’ paying out dead money to landlords.

“A pay-out from the Bank of Mum and Dad can’t be the next generation’s only chance of affording a home of their own. Parents understandably want to help their kids to get a start in life, but with many feeling the squeeze themselves this is only an option for a lucky few.

“Schemes like Help to Buy might be heralded as the solution, but in reality risk making the problem worse by inflating house prices further. Instead, politicians need to give back hope to all those left priced out by building the affordable homes they are crying out for. From a new generation of part rent part buy homes, to encouraging smaller builders back into the market, it is possible to turn the tide on the housing shortage, but only with the right innovation, investment and political will. It’s time for politicians from all parties to turn their talk into action.”

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