Chances are, it’s going to be a lot more expensive for your child to buy a house than it was when you first got onto the property ladder.
The cost of buying your own home has increased drastically over time, with the latest UK House Price Index putting the average cost at £284,691 in December 2023. Just 10 years before that (in 2013), a typical home cost a lot less – £177,971, in fact.
Although that amount would be the equivalent of around 237,511 today due to inflation, it's still a considerable increase to have seen in just a decade.
This means that if your child wanted to put down a 10% deposit on an average property now they’d need to part with over £28,500 – but that doesn’t include all the other costs that come with buying your first home, such as mortgage fees, legal fees, property surveys and the rest!
So, with this in mind, you may be thinking: how can I help my child buy a house? Fortunately, there are a few options to make this goal more achievable for them.
How can a parent help a child buy a house?
There are lots of different things that you could do if you wanted your kids to get on the property ladder sooner but, depending on your situation, they may not be right for you.
The best way to help your child buy a house is by working with what you have – whether that’s time, money, dedication, or a combination of all the above.
Confused? Don’t be. We’ll explain.
Helping when you have time
One way that you, as a parent, could help your child buy their first home is by starting to prepare for this moment when they’re still young.
For example, if you opened an investment ISA for your child when they were born and put away £100 for them each month, by the time they turn 18 they could have £30,696 saved ready for a deposit on a house. That’s a lovely figure, and although it’s achievable it is also a forecast and not a reliable indicator of future performance. This is because the value of investments can go down, as well as up.
If you leave it until your child is 10, then that same £100 a month could still help your child have a good start towards a deposit but the amount you have saved is more likely to be in the ballpark of £11,464. That’s an almost £20 grand difference because you put off saving for 10 years – and while some of that comes from your monthly £100 savings, the rest is from ‘compounding’.
Compounding is where your investments make money, and that money is reinvested so that it can make more money. Over time this can start to snowball, making it much easier to build up significant savings in the long run.
If you think you'd struggle to pay into the Junior ISA regularly, then why not think about roping in family and friends too? With Wealthify, your friends and family can pay into a Junior ISA – giving your child's Plan more potential.
But what if you don’t have time to invest? What happens then?
Helping when you have money
If you’re in a really good position financially, then you may be asking “can I buy a house for my child?”.
And the simple answer is yes, you can buy a house for your kid. However, there’s more than one way to do this and some of them are surprisingly more affordable than others.
One option is to buy a house and then transfer it into your child’s name. However, there are a few complications around this approach – and it certainly isn’t cheap to do. For a start, you’ll need to pay the deposit – and then you’ll probably have to pay stamp duty for a second home (assuming you own your own already). After you’ve bought the house, there are also additional costs with going through the conveyancing process again to transfer the property to your child.
The other much more straightforward way to buy a house for your child could be to simply give them the money to do so. In fact, according to one study, 61% of first-time buyers said they expected to get help from their parents to buy a property in 2023.
There are loads of ways that you can do this too. For example, you could:
- Gift them the money for a deposit
- Loan them the money with the view that they repay you
- Act as a guarantor on a mortgage
- Or even get a joint mortgage with them
If you’re not sure what’s the right path for you, then it could be worth speaking to a financial advisor.
When you have the dedication
Is your child all grown up? Maybe you don’t have the money to help with a deposit? That’s fine too - there are still options available if you fall into either of these camps.
One of them, although not particularly appealing, is to let your children live with you so that they can save money that would otherwise go on rent. Obviously, this can be tricky if space is tight, but it could be the lift they need to supercharge their savings.
In the UK, the average cost of rent hit £1,190 in the first quarter of 2023 (rising to £2,500 in London). That’s a significant amount of money they could be putting aside for their first home – and while nobody wants to be living with their parents forever, if they were paying the UK’s average rent, that three years living with you could potentially allow them to put away £42,840. That’s a lovely sum for a house deposit!
This is becoming far more common than you may think, with the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that as of the 2021 Census (the most recent one to be completed), 51.2% of 20-24-year-olds and 26.7% of 25-29-year-olds still lived with their parents.
Combining the approach
As with all things, your personal circumstances will be the big deciding factor here, so you may want to do your own research into helping your child buy a house and choose what works best for you. The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can help – whether that’s by gifting yours an early inheritance or letting them live with you for a few more years.
But if they’re still young, then opening a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA could be one of the easiest ways to help avoid countless arguments about their time in the shower while helping your child build up their first house deposit.
With investing your capital is at risk, so the value of your investments can go down as well as up, which means you could get back less than you initially invested.
The tax treatment of your investment will depend on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.
Wealthify does not offer advice, if you’re not sure whether investing is right for you, then please speak to a financial adviser.
- This is the projected value for a Confident Plan (Medium Risk Plan) with an Original theme. This is only a forecast and is not a reliable indicator of future performance. If markets perform worse, your return could be £23,528. If markets perform better, your return could be £40,503. Values correct as of 15/02/2024.
- This is the projected value for a Confident Plan (Medium Risk Plan) with an Original theme. This is only a forecast and is not a reliable indicator of future performance. If markets perform worse, your return could be £9,726. If markets perform better, your return could be £13,373. Values correct as of 15/02/2024.