fb-pixel Skip to main content

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

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. Lane Turner/globe staff/file 2015/Globe Staff

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.


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 timothy.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.