The news that many parents are releasing family funds to help their children clamber up the slippery pole to home ownership may not come as a shock, but the size of the sums now needed reaffirms that property price inflation has taken off. And we all know how well that ended last time.
Figures from the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) show the dependence on “the bank of mum and dad” to help make up the €52,000 deposit for a first-time mortgage while the median deposit required for a mover purchaser is €135,000.
Almost 42% of first-time buyers used gifts to help fund their deposits, and almost 25% of mover purchasers went back to their families for more. Unless your dad is James Bond (the actor Daniel Craig recently said he did not believe in cascading wealth to his children) there is every likelihood that this largesse will end up in the pockets of sellers and auctioneers.
To some extent it was ever thus, but the size of the sums involved are a further reinforcement of wealth and privilege and mean that the property-owning classes become ever more distinct and self-selecting. That is a cause for worry.