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Property Top Concern For UK Parents Supporting Children

Jackie Bennion

8 April 2019

New research by wealth management firm Quilter Cheviot has revealed that UK parents and grandparents feel the best way to support their children and grandchildren is to help them buy a property.

Citing the pressures young people face getting onto the property ladder, almost half (47 per cent) of UK parents and grandparents said that the best support they can give the next generation is helping them to make their first purchase. But less than one third of parents thought it was important to encourage 13 to 18-year-olds to save.

The online survey, conducted by YouGov, questioned 1,525 UK consumers with a minimum of £100,000 of investable assets who have children aged between 13 and 18 years old.

Despite uncertainties cast by Brexit, and London prices falling, figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that average UK house prices have increased by 2.8 per cent, rising to £231,000 in November 2018, up from £7,000 the previous year. This offers little comfort to young professionals hoping to convert from renting to owning, or at least move out of mum and dad's - the reality for 25 per cent of young adults living in the UK.

A study earlier this year drawn from ONS data found that 3.4 million people aged 20 to 34 are living with their parents, nearly one million more than a decade ago.

Another issue for young adults, which the Quilter poll showed, is that a quarter (25 per cent) of parents believed that financially supporting education was the best way to help their children and grandchildren.

High tuition fees combined with high living costs have left graduates from English universities with some of the highest student debt in the developed world at the same time as record numbers of young people are applying to college. The Institute For Fiscal Studies has calculated that most graduates will still be paying off student loans in their 50s, and three-quarters of them will never clear the debt.

Quilter has a strong presence across the UK, Jersey, and Ireland, and has been actively addressing family financial literacy, holding a series of educational events across the UK last year, with more outreach planned for this year.

“With over half of UK 15 to 18-year-olds in full-time education receiving no formal financial education, it is vital that parents teach their children the importance of budgeting and saving money,” investment director at Quilter Cheviot Tim Healy, said.

“As well as managing our clients’ portfolios, it is important to help them and their families understand the mechanics of investment,” he said.

In related news, FirstHomeCoach, a new personalised digital platform to help steer first-time buyers through the home-buying process, was launched this week.

The venture, founded by Ben Leonard, former HSBC head of financial institutions, is a response to home ownership rates in the UK continuing to fall. The average first-time buyer is now 30 years old, while the chances of owning a home in the UK have more than halved over the past 20 years.