Just 9% of buyers able to go it alone

The proportion of people able to buy their first house on their own is now less than a third of what is was twelve years ago.

According to research by Simpson Millar Solicitors, just 9% now buy on their own, down from 29% in 1994/5 and 14% in 2014/15, with the firm saying they believe those buying alone are “an endangered species”

The firm also say just one in 25 is able to shun outside help from parents, grandparents or government schemes.

An increasing number are turning to grandparents, with 17% taking a gift or a loan to help them onto the housing ladder. However 43% are still turning to the Bank of Mum and Dad.

Lisa Gibbs, Conveyancing Partner at Simpson Millar Solicitors, said: “When multiple generations of the ‘family silver’ are being staked, it may need older and wiser heads to step in and advise some common sense. Not all house purchases end up being ‘forever homes’. With this in mind, it is only sensible to have paperwork in place to ensure equity is shared equitably when ways part.

“Within recent living memory, many people were able to get a job and buy a first flat without having found Mr or Mrs Right first. Nowadays, the first purchase is more likely to be a family home – and involve investments of tens of thousands of pounds from multiple sources.

“With so many sources of finance involved, and differing family contributions increasing the likelihood of ‘uneven deposits’ within couples, getting the legal ins and outs right today is more essential than ever. However, the law of the first-time house purchase isn’t keeping pace with the exponential increase in the up-front financial commitments involved, and the complexities that creates in these life-shaping transactions. Life often takes the form of a winding road, with unexpected twists and turns along the way. A few very simple legal precautions at the outset can make sure all concerned are protected from the future unknowns.”

Today's Conveyancer