Business & Tech

For home-buying help, millennials turn to the Bank of Mom and Dad

Cambridge, MA - 03/12/15 - Home shoppers enter an open house on Franklin Street. Lara Gordon is putting a home for sale and trying to deal with the mounds of snow in front of homes - including making sure that walkways are cleared. March usually kicks off the spring real-estate market, but right now houses are buried under heaps of snow, homeowners are dealing with ice-dam damage and agents can't even get for sale signs onto front yards. Realtors think this could be a really busy spring season as the economy has improved and buyers are trying to take advantage of the low interest rates. Except for that darn snow. Lane Turner/Globe Staff Section: BIZ Reporter: Deirdre Fernandes Slug: 12snowhomes
Lane Turner/globe staff/file 2015
A Bank of America survey found that a majority of Boston-area residents ages 18 to 34 expect to seek help from their parents in buying their first house.

When today’s young adults go to buy a home, most will likely turn to a bank for help.

Many will also turn to the bank of Mom and Dad.

Three-fourths of Boston-area residents age 18 to 34 expect to seek assistance from their parents in buying their first house, according to a new survey out Wednesday from Bank of America. That’s a rate nearly 10 percent higher than the national average.


That may come as no surprise when the median price for a single-family home in Suffolk County topped $420,000 in February, and $433,000 in Middlesex County, according to data from The Warren Group. But it highlights the degree to which young adults facing high rents and often student loan debt are struggling to buy a home in the pricey Boston market.

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Those high costs – along with the lingering effects of the long economic downturn – are pushing people to buy their first home a bit later in life. Boston-area respondents to Bank of America’s survey also were more likely to prioritize saving up, and waiting for a “life event” – such as getting married or having a child – than people elsewhere in the country.

That may be, in part, why the concept of a “starter home” seems to be falling out of fashion. Three in four local survey respondents said they’d like to buy a home they can grow into, instead of something that meets their needs now with the plan to trade up for a larger model in a few years.

And, despite the region’s urban apartment and condo boom, a strong majority – 72 percent – envision themselves in a single-family home when they settle down and buy, with most – 61 percent – still preferring the suburbs.

Tim Logan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.