Nearly half (47%) of all property purchases in the UK will take place with the help from the so-called Bank of Mum and Dad (BOMAD) this year, according to new research.

The help from BOMAD will amount to around £8 billion according to the research from financial services provider Legal & General, towards the purchase of around 318,400 properties – a record level.

This is set to rise even more to £10 billion by 2025, says the firm. More than half of parents or grandparents (58%) help their family purchase a property do so for first-time buyers.

Bernie Hickman, CEO, Legal & General Retail says: “Family wealth is increasingly becoming a prerequisite for homeownership, effectively locking some groups out of the housing market for years while they save for deposits, or even altogether.

“While family gifting has always played a prominent role in the UK housing market, our study shows that the value of those contributions has risen by more than a quarter on pre- pandemic levels.”

Generational wealth planning

It is in many ways a positive that a family has worked hard enough to be able to help their loved ones buy their own home.

Getting on the property ladder is increasingly difficult with rising mortgage rates and historically high prices compared to wage levels. However, this can have implications for the parents or grandparents’ own financial plans.

Hickman explains: “An increasing reliance on family members isn’t only an issue for those seeking to buy – it is important to acknowledge the financial strain it can place on the giver, particularly if they are undertaking this commitment without financial advice. By dipping into savings and pensions, family members may be compromising on their own retirement incomes.”

So, what can you do to ensure help for your family, while not compromising your own plans? Having a generational wealth plan in place is key.

As a starting point, if you want to help with a home purchase, then planning for that as early as possible is essential. That money should be earmarked and in the right kind of account in order to minimise tax liabilities, particularly around pensions.

There are ways to contribute early on to your children or grandchildren’s financial future, such as setting up a junior ISA (JISA). However, the potential pitfall with a JISA is once the child turns 18, they gain full control of that pot. Although they might be financially responsible, not all 18-year-olds are, or they may have other priorities such as paying for university.

So, if you want to earmark that cash specifically for a house deposit, it might be wise to retain control of it yourself until the time comes.

It is also really important to consider inheritance tax (IHT) gifting rules. You can give as much as you like to a child, but under the seven-year rule, you’ll have to live for seven years past the gifting date for your estate to fully expunge any potential IHT liability for the gift.

Finally, as Hickman suggests, giving away a significant lump sum can have an impact on your own future financial stability and access to funds. In order to ensure the gift doesn’t have a detrimental effect, it is a good idea to go through the process of cashflow modelling.

Cashflow modelling can help you to decide where the best place is to draw the gift from, be it an ISA, pension, or even through selling other assets such as your property (if you’re planning on downsizing). Each option will have its benefits and drawbacks and should be discussed carefully with an adviser.