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Family matters: more parents than ever help their children leap on the property ladder in central London

Things are on the move in one of our great national institutions – the Bank of Mum and Dad.

It has been clear for some time that many young people are only able to get on the housing ladder because they have been lent – or donated – the deposit by their parents. Yet we have recently noticed a slightly different trend: well-off buyers purchasing homes for their children as long-term investments which will benefit the family for future generations.

And according to figures from The Legal and General and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, parents gave their children around £6.5 billion to get on the housing ladder in 2017. That is 26% of the property transactions in the UK.

There is nothing new in the idea of inter-generational planning. Historically, wealthy individuals have often bought properties and put them in trust for their children. However, what is new, in our experience, is the number of parents buying properties for their children as investments.

They are not simply giving their offspring a leg up on the housing ladder out of the goodness of their parental hearts. They are looking at the investment landscape and deciding to invest in London property at a time when interest rates remain historically low and there is excellent value in the property market for people prepared to shop around.

“This has to be a good thing for all sorts of reasons,” explains James Bailey, Chief Executive of Henry & James. “It cements families together. It introduces an intriguing new tranche of buyers into the market. And it also allows maximum flexibility. I expect this trend to continue in prime central London, for the fortunate families who can give their children a helping hand onto the housing ladder.”

“More widely, we see the new trend for parent-led property purchases as a vote of confidence in the London property market as a whole,” add James Bailey. “People want a stake in that market and, because a property in Belgravia, Knightsbridge or Chelsea is such a blue-chip investment, they want the fruits of that investment to be shared by their children and grandchildren.”

  • Henry & James is one of Belgravia’s premier estate agents for residential sales and lettings. If you are thinking about buying, selling or renting in 2018, get in touch with our team on Tel: 020 7235 8861 or email