We have always believed each new generation should be better off than the previous one. However, in recent years, that pattern seems to have gone into reverse with the younger generation being priced out of the property market and parents increasingly being relied upon to bridge the affordability gap.

Those whose parents are “house-rich” are almost three times more likely to be homeowners by 30 than those whose parents have no property wealth. Inter-generational giving, that is the Bank of Mum and Dad, has a major influence on the property prospects of the young.

Recent research conducted by Legal & General in the UK showed that parents were lending or gifting an average of £24,100 to help their children on to the property ladder. That represents an increase of £6,000 on 2017.

The Bank of Mum and Dad would rank as the 10th biggest UK lender based on the estimated £6.3 billion of financial assistance that parents provided to fund their children’s property purchases in 2018. It is more than the official tenth largest UK lender, Clydesdale Bank which lent £5 billion last year.

Currently, about 34% of property buyers benefit from parents’ loans or gifts and that figure is expected to increase over the next five to ten years to 40%.

The L & G research shows that parents were helping 10% of renters with their initial security deposit and rent.

A study by Prudential in 2017 claimed that 47% of over 55s wished to downsize their own homes and release equity. 13% said it was to help their children onto the property ladder and 14% said they wanted to give their children some cash.

A survey in 2015 by Kwik Fit showed that UK parents spend an average £ 2 billion per year helping their children with motor and insurance expenses.

It should be remembered that many parents cannot afford to make sizable gifts during their lifetime because they will need their savings for their later years. Parents who are too generous risk hurting their standard of living in retirement.