The role of the bank of mum and dad in today’s property markets

Nov 14, 2023 | by DiJones

Over the past two decades, the landscape of home ownership in Australia has undergone significant transformations. A complex interplay of soaring house prices, employment insecurity, and changing economic realities has left many young Australians facing an uphill battle to secure their place on the property ladder. In this article, we delve into the evolving dynamics of the property market and explore the vital role played by the bank of mum and dad.

The challenge of homeownership for young adults

Recent reports highlight a concerning trend in Australian real estate - “declining home ownership among young adults. The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) revealed that owning a home has become increasingly elusive for the younger generation, with a multitude of obstacles in their path1.  One of the most significant challenges they face is saving for a deposit, a formidable task in the face of skyrocketing house prices and job market volatility.

The AHURI report underscores that 40% of individuals aged 25 to 34 intend to rely on family support to purchase their first home. This statistic reflects the harsh reality that many young Australians are unable to amass the required funds independently due to financial constraints and economic uncertainty.

The bank of mum and dad: a vital resource

In this challenging environment, the bank of mum and dad has emerged as a vital resource for aspiring homeowners. Parents across Australia have stepped in to provide financial assistance to their children in their quest for homeownership. According to 2023 data from Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker (CST)2, parents offer their children an average of $33,278 to help with a house deposit, a substantial sum in today’s property market.

This support is not limited to a specific region; it spans across the nation, with Victorian parents leading the way by gifting an average of $52,716, followed by South Australian parents ($44,656), New South Wales parents ($40,191), Queenslanders ($36,497), and Western Australians ($31,076).

The bank of mum and dad: statistics and significance

The bank of mum and dad is not merely a concept; it is a significant force shaping the Australian property market. According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the mean price for an Australian home is now a staggering $912,7003. In a climate where property prices continue to surge, many prospective homebuyers find themselves grappling with the daunting task of accumulating a substantial deposit.

The reliance on parental support is evident in statistics, with large numbers of first-time buyers in Australia receiving some degree of financial assistance from their parents to secure their inaugural property. This help is crucial in bridging the gap between income levels and the mounting cost of real estate, and it is not limited to first-time buyers. In fact, parents are now more likely than ever to extend their support to adult children of all ages.

The pros and cons of parental assistance

The benefits of the bank of mum and dad extend beyond immediate financial relief. Parents who gift money to their children for property purchases can potentially enjoy tax advantages if they live for seven years after the gift. This can reduce the size of their estate and result in a lower future inheritance tax bill.

Moreover, parental support can result in lower monthly repayments for their children. A larger initial deposit can enable borrowers to access more favourable mortgage rates, ultimately leading to reduced monthly costs. Additionally, parents’ contributions can empower their children to buy a better property, which may obviate the need to move frequently and incur additional expenses.

However, there are several important considerations to keep in mind: 

Firstly, when parents provide substantial financial assistance to their children for property purchases, they are essentially diverting funds from their own financial security. This could impact their retirement plans, investments, and overall financial stability. Additionally, if parents need to borrow against their home equity or tap into their savings to help their children, it might affect their mortgage terms and interest rates. 

Secondly, financial support from parents can sometimes lead to complex family dynamics, especially when multiple siblings are involved. Moreover, such situations can have an impact on relationships, as money has the potential to strain even the closest bonds. Open communication and transparency are crucial to navigating these potential tensions. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that there may be legal and fiscal considerations when providing financial assistance in the form of loans or gifts. Every arrangement should be legally documented to avoid future disputes and you should seek advice on any potential tax implications for both parents and children.

Given the complexities associated with property purchases and financial support from parents, seeking legal advice is crucial for all parties involved. Legal professionals can assist in drafting necessary documents to ensure the protection of assets and clear financial terms. This proactive approach helps safeguard both parents and children from future disputes and uncertainties.


Summing up

In conclusion, the bank of mum and dad has evolved into a cornerstone of the Australian property market. In an era of mounting challenges for young adults striving for homeownership, parental support has become a lifeline. While it offers undeniable benefits, it is not without its complexities and potential pitfalls. Therefore, individuals and families navigating this path should prioritize legal guidance to secure their financial futures and maintain harmonious relationships.



Other buying, selling and investing articles and resources 

Guide to property investment success in NSW

Selling a house or apartment in NSW eBook

Buying a house or apartment in NSW eBook

Property investment in NSW FAQ’s

What is a property cycle and what drives a change? 

DiJones Real Estate, together with their directors, officers, employees and agents have used their best endeavours to ensure the information passed on in this document is accurate. However, you must make your own enquiries in relation to the information contained in this document and seek advice from your financial advisor, broker or accountant to ascertain its application to your circumstances.

This information is provided subject to our Terms and Conditions.