RISING numbers of househunters in South Yorkshire are being helped on to the property ladder by parents, according to industry experts.
Estate agents in Sheffield say more and more people are turning to their families for financial support to buy their first home – while others are investing in houses rather than keeping savings in banks.
And the trend is predicted to continue in 2013, after house prices fell towards the end of last year.
New statistics from mortgage provider Nationwide show the average cost of a home in Sheffield at the end of last year was £166,739 – down 1 per cent on the previous quarter and 3 per cent on the same period in 2011.
In South Yorkshire, the average price was £134,910, a fall of 3 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2012 and a 4 per cent decrease on the final quarter of the previous year.
Despite the drop, property sellers believe 2013 will be a more stable year for house prices.
Linda Crapper, of Sheffield estate agent Saxton Mee, said: “There have been a lot of first-time buyers helped by families. A lot of parents are helping their children out. People are investing in property more because there is less trust in banks.
“In the areas I cover – S6, S10 and S35 – prices have been fairly steady. In some areas compared to the previous year we’ve been 5-7 per cent up on sales. It has generally been a good year.
“I don’t think it is as dire as has been made out. Four years ago they dropped massively, by about 50 per cent, but they have slowly and surely come back up.
“This year I think prices are going to stay level. It’s been a positive year.”
John Francis, an estate agent at Crapper and Haigh based in Sheffield city centre, said: “It’s the bank of mum and dad. We do a lot of rentals and when people leave I go and have a chat with them.
“When I ask them if they have bought somewhere, a lot of young couples are telling me they are moving back in with their parents so they can save money for a deposit.
“Banks still want big deposits so they’re getting help in a variety of ways.
“As far as I am concerned, for the last few years the market has been pretty flat and I don’t expect any dramatic increase or decrease in prices.”
House sales in numbers:
* Average house price in Sheffield at the end of 2012 according to Nationwide - £167K
* Percentage house prices in Sheffield fell compared to the end of 2011 - 3
* Average house price in South Yorkshire at the end of 2012 - £135K