What’s fuelling the Bank of Granny and Grandad?
14th November 2019
As house prices continue to rise, many first-time buyers are having a tough time saving towards a deposit.
So parents - also known as the Bank of Mum and Dad - have stepped in to help, gifting their children money to put towards their deposit.
Parents are gifting £24,100 on average, according to a 2019 report by Legal & General. They claim this effectively makes parents the 11th largest mortgage lender in the UK. (1)
But now our own research has revealed that parents aren’t the only family members giving first-time buyers a helping hand.
The rise of the Bank of Granny and Grandad
We asked 1,000 homeowners across the UK if they received financial help from any of their grandparents to buy their home.
12% of them said yes. (2) But that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Younger buyers were far more likely to have received help than previous generations.
Nearly a third (32%) of homeowners aged between 18 and 34 were given financial help by their grandparents to buy a property (3) - compared to just 3% of over-55s (4) who previously had the same assistance.
The amount of financial help received was, on average, over £7,400. (5) But it also varied depending on where people lived.
It might not come as a surprise to see buyers in London - where the average property was worth £473k in August 2019 (6) - receive the most help from their grandparents. Over a quarter (26%) of London homeowners were helped. (7)
Using official house price data, this equates to 30% of a typical 10% deposit worth £23,485. (8)
The growth of the Bank of Granny and Grandad could be explained by house prices rising faster than income.
In 1999, average house prices stood at £80,443 - just 4.5 times the average annual salary of £17,803. Today, average house prices are £234,853 - 7.9 times the average annual salary of £29,558. (9)
Yet today, most mortgage lenders will lend applicants four to five times their household income.
A first-time buyer’s story
Laura Wheatley, 26, had been renting in London since graduating.
“I’d occasionally look at homes to buy online, but it was depressing to see how expensive everything was,” she said.
“I wasn’t able to save a lot, so I just put buying a home to the back of my mind.”
Then she received a nice surprise from her grandparents. They were selling their home to downsize, and offered to gift her some of the money raised for a deposit.
“It was a shock, to be honest. I hadn’t expected to receive any help. And I was fortunate to receive enough to buy in an area that I really liked.”
Laura bought a two-bedroom flat in a period property in London’s Zone 2 with direct access to the shared garden.
And Laura’s story seems typical of those who are fortunate enough to receive help from their grandparents.
When we asked our panel of UK homeowners why they received help
34% said their grandparents have/had spare money
29% said they couldn't afford the deposit without them (10)
Will this trend continue?
We also asked prospective homeowners whether they were expecting financial support from their grandparents.
23% said they were. (11)
That’s almost double the 12% of current homeowners who received help. (2)
And has the experience impacted Laura’s thoughts about potentially helping her future children or grandchildren get on the property ladder?
“I’d definitely try to help them if I could,” she said. “I know first-hand how hard it is to save while you’re renting. So I’d like to put some money away regularly for them, so they get a head start on saving.”
It looks like the Bank of Granny and Grandad might be here to stay. And if house prices continue to rise, the UK’s latest family bank could grow even bigger.
(1) Legal & General
(2) Trussle commissioned a nationally representative UK survey with research agency Censuswide in October 2019.
Calculation: 1,000 homeowner respondents were asked ‘Did you receive financial assistance from any of your grandparents to buy your home?’ - 123 responded ‘Yes’
123 = 12% of 1,000
(3) Calculation: 188 homeowner respondents were aged between 18 and 34. When asked, ‘Did you receive financial assistance from any of your grandparents to buy your home?’ - 61 responded ‘Yes’
61 = 32% of 188
(4) Calculation: 432 homeowner respondents were aged over 55. When asked, ‘Did you receive financial assistance from any of your grandparents to buy your home?’ - 13 responded ‘Yes’
13 = 3% of 432
(5) 123 homeowner respondents answered a mean average of £7,437 when asked: ‘Approximately how much financial assistance did you receive from your grandparents to buy your home?’
(6) ONS section 5, figure 6
(7) Calculation: 93 homeowner respondents live in Greater London
Of these 24 responded ‘Yes’ when asked, ‘Did you receive financial assistance from any of your grandparents to buy your home?’
24 = 26% of 93
(8) Calculation: Current average UK home worth £234,853.
Typical 10% deposit of £234,853 = £23,485
£7,437 = 31% of £23,500.
(9) House price data
1999 salary data (Figure 3, downloadable XLS data)
£80,443 / £17,803 = 4.5 times
£234,853 / £29,588 = 7.9 times
(10) Calculation: 123 homeowner respondents were asked ‘What is the main reason you received help from your grandparents (tick one)
42 ticked ‘My grandparents have/had spare money
36 ticked ‘I couldn’t afford the deposit without them’
(11) Calculation: 234 prospective homeowner respondents answered yes to ‘When it comes to buying a home in the future, do you expect to receive help from any of your grandparents?’
234 = 23% of 1000