Bank of Mum and Dad charges fees in embarrassment, awkwardness and unwanted advice, St.George research shows

In 2017, Mozo revealed that the Bank of Mum and Dad is the fifth biggest lender in Australia, shelling out a massive $65.3 billion to help young adults enter the property market, without charging fees, or for the most part, interest. But it turns out homebuyers who head back to the family home might pay for it in other ways - namely, by getting stuck in awkward situations.

In results very similar to Mozo’s Bank of Mum and Dad research, St.George research found that 42% of parents are willing to let their kids live with them to help them get a foot on the property ladder.

“Buying a home is no easy feat and saving for a deposit in the current market can be difficult, so it’s no surprise that buyers are making sacrifices in order to help them save – including moving back in with the parents,” said St.George’s General Manager for Retail Banking Ross Miller.

But while this generosity is a much-needed boost for young Aussies it can result in some uncomfortable situations for both them and their parents.

In the St.George survey, more than half of adult Aussies (56%) admitted to winding up in an awkward or funny situation when living with their parents, while just under half of parents (47%) had encounters that left them cringing.

For home-buying hopefuls, a lack of privacy when it comes to their personal lives was the biggest stumbling block of cohabitation with their parents. Being caught in embarrassing ‘socially sensitive’ situations was a problem for 40% of adult kids, while 24% had private phone calls overheard.

Awkward dinner table fights were endured by 27% of homebuyers and 22% had to deal with hanging out with parents friends and having parents try to enforce a curfew respectively.

On the flip side, while parents had their fair share of sitting through awkward TV scenes with their children (29%) or missing out on private time with their own partner (27%), the main issue was adult kids offering up unasked for advice.

Arguments about the ‘best’ way to do things topped 45% of parents’ lists of grievances, and 31% found themselves stuck listening to advice on superfoods and healthy living.

“A lot of people will be able to relate to these challenges, especially as we head into the holiday season where many families reunite under the one roof. However in spite of this it’s positive to see there’s a willingness from parents to help their adult kids out when it comes to achieving their home ownership goals,” said Ross.

He added that while leaving the family nest right away might not be the best option for everyone, St.George encourages young Aussies to “conduct thorough research” and visit a branch to learn more about products and options available to them.

You can also compare first home loan options using our handy table to get an idea of what’s out there and find an option that suits your needs. And then hopefully, you’ll be out of your parents’ hair (and vice versa) in no time!