Inheritance 'Increasingly A Necessity For Home Buyers'

Over A Third Of Those Aged 25-34 Relied On Inheritance Windfall Or Cash Gifts To Buy Home

23.04.2015

The number of prospective homeowners relying on inheritance or cash gifts to put down a deposit on their home is increasing, new research has found.

Housing charity Shelter found that one in six people aged between 25 and 34 relied on inheritance from a relative in order to buy their own home. A survey of homeowners over 55 found that just one in 20 people in the older age group had had to do the same.

A third of adults in the younger age group surveyed had used cash gifts to put down a deposit. Further research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders suggested the problem was more serious, as 52% of first-time buyers in 2014 required financial assistance from relatives.

Government figures show that more people in England aged between 25 and 34 are renting privately than buying their own home, with the number of young people renting having doubled since 2004.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, urged politicians to "give back hope to the priced-out generation" by making a "real and lasting commitment to building the affordable homes we desperately need".

"It's a tragic consequence of our housing shortage that, even when they are working hard and saving what they can, a generation of young adults have no choice but to rely on the prospect of inheritance to have any hope of buying their first home," he said.

Expert Opinion
This is an interesting trend which has developed and may in some cases only serve to slow the housing market, as younger generations essentially have to delay any plans they have in terms of getting on the property ladder.

"It is also worth bearing in mind that inheritance tax is an issue gaining much attention in the lead-up to the election and, as such, it could be the case that changes are made which could reduce or increase the amount of tax paid by those who receive a share of an estate.

"With this property issue in mind, such changes to inheritance tax may now also have an impact on many younger people."
Gillian Coverley, Partner