Each week the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking The Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's whether you should help your kids with the problem of getting a first home. Hosted by Frances Cook.

Just when you thought the property market was bad enough, there's a whole new layer of complication added on top.

High prices are now forcing many first home buyers to turn to the bank of mum and dad for help.

Figures from Australia show that last year, 55 per cent of first home buyers had some kind of help from the oldies.


That's a jump up from just 3.3 per cent in 2010. It's a shocking leap in just seven years.

Over here in New Zealand, the figures are more piecemeal. Nobody collects this kind of data across the entire industry.

But data from Mike Pero mortgages shows we might actually be worse off, with between 60-70 per cent of their first home buyers getting help from the parents.

This is worrying, first of all, because it's a step towards New Zealand having landed gentry. If you need parental help to buy a house, what are you going to do if you're not from a wealthy family?

An accident of birth shouldn't decide whether or not you can own a home.

The next issue is the extremely complicated family dynamics this opens up. Parents may want to help their kids so badly that they hurt their own finances and retirement.

Or kids might feel the generous gift is held over their heads, planting the seeds of anger and resentment.

I talked to Kiwibank general manager of sales and service Tracey Berry about the options for helping out the kids.


We discussed the pros and cons, how parents with money could help out, and the ways you can still help the kids if you don't have spare cash.

For the interview, listen to the podcast.

If you have a question about this podcast, or an idea for the next one, come and talk to me about it. I'm on Facebook here, Instagram here and Twitter here.

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