7 things to consider before lending your children a deposit for a home

Most UK parents will gift their child £1,000 to £5,000 for a deposit

Related topics:  Finance,  Property,  Bank of Mum and Dad
Property | Reporter
23rd April 2024
Family 723
"Each lender has its own set of guidelines regarding who can provide a gifted deposit, typically restricted to parents or close relatives like siblings or grandparents. However, some lenders may also accept contributions from family and friends"
- Terry Higgins - The New Homes Group

Despite fluctuating mortgage rates in the past year, research shows first-time buyer numbers are expected to remain stable in 2024 compared to 2023. But, how many of these first-time buyers will turn to the ‘Bank of Mum & Dad’ to help them secure a deposit?

First-time buyers are embracing the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ trend in the UK

Recent research indicates that over the past year, 318,400 house purchases received support from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad.’

Additionally, findings in a new study from David Wilson Homes show that 27% of parents have helped their children buy a home financially, and 60% of first-time buyers see financial contributions from parents as key for entering the property market.

In a survey by David Wilson Homes, UK parents were asked about their contribution towards their child's deposit.

The majority (34%) stated they would give between £1,000 to £5,000. Additionally, 26% indicated they would contribute up to £10,000, while 22% were open to gifting up to £20,000.

Why are parents gifting their children deposits?

In the UK, 29% of parents stated that they gave their child a deposit primarily because of their child's financial situation and inability to afford a house deposit independently.

Additionally, 28% mentioned their own financial stability as a key factor, ensuring they could help without risking their own future.

Gifted deposits are enhancing first-time buyers’ overall house-buying experience

Securing a deposit is only the start of the house-buying process. Still, for 30% of first-time buyers who received financial help from parents, it allowed them to afford a home in a better neighbourhood, or with more desirable features.

22% of first-time buyers say financial help from parents made the overall home-buying process much smoother and less stressful. While 11% say it helped them secure a better mortgage rate or terms, saving them money in the long run.

Many parents are gifting deposits without seeking advice on the implications

Despite the trend of parents providing financial support to their children, it's surprising that 69% didn't research or seek advice on the implications of lending money for this purpose. This includes the possibility that some banks may not accept a borrowed deposit, limiting the deals available to first-time buyers borrowing from their parents.

7 questions to consider before lending your children a deposit

Terry Higgins, Group MD at The New Homes Group New Build Mortgage Services, teams up with David Wilson Homes experts to highlight 7 important questions for parents lending money for their child’s deposit.

How do gifted deposits work?

“A gifted deposit is when a family member or friend gifts you some, or all, of your deposit with no expectations for it to be paid back – this is classed as a gift and not a loan.”

Who can gift a deposit for a mortgage?

“Each lender has its own set of guidelines regarding who can provide a gifted deposit, typically restricted to parents or close relatives like siblings or grandparents. However, some lenders may also accept contributions from family and friends.

“A gifted deposit doesn't necessarily have to cover the entire deposit and can complement your own savings. Although, it’s essential that the giver agrees to relinquish any claim to the property.”

How will gifting a deposit affect my own financial situation?

"Apart from adding to your deposit, receiving a gift shouldn't change your financial situation, as it's freely given and not a loan."

Do I need to provide any documentation as the person gifting the deposit?

“A document commonly referred to as a 'gifted deposit declaration' or 'gifted deposit letter' is required. This document explicitly states that the funds are given as a gift with no expectation of property ownership or repayment. It must be signed and dated by the donor (the person giving the deposit) in the presence of a witness.

“Other requirements include:

Proof of identification and the address of the donor
A recent bank statement from the donor showing how the gifted money was accrued

“It is important that this information is provided to your mortgage broker and conveyancer as early as possible in the buying process, as additional checks may need to be made and this will prevent any unnecessary delays.”

How big can gifted deposits be?

“Generally, there is no limit on the size of a gifted deposit.”

What other low-deposit options are there for first-time buyers?

“Schemes such as Skipton Building Society’s Track Record mortgage requires no deposit, and targets renters. To qualify, you must be a first-time buyer, over 21, have 12 months of on-time rent payments, and have a good credit score.

“Several lenders now offer 95% mortgages meaning you only need a 5% deposit. Barratt Homes also offers a Deposit Unlock scheme that enables first-time buyers to purchase a property with only a 5% deposit.

"Other schemes, such as Barratt Homes’ Rent then Buy, also allow you to move into a new house whilst still only paying rent – this money then goes towards your deposit.”

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