One quarter of parents expect to provide financial assistance for their adult children to live independently, LU research finds

A recent research conducted by LU and the City University of Hong Kong finds that 26 per cent of parents who responded expect to subsidise their adult children when they buy a property.


Of the 1,012 parents surveyed between July 2020 and April 2021, the majority (66%) said that they have no plans to provide financial housing support for their adult children in the next five years, but a quarter (26%) do intend to subsidise grown-up children. Of these, who already own their own homes (34%) are more intend to provide financial housing support than public rental housing tenants (15%).


Fifteen per cent of respondents with financial support plans expected to provide assistance of less than HK$100,000, whereas 32 per cent would provide between HK$100,000 and HK$1 million, and 26 per cent would offer more than HK$1 million. About half of these (48%) planned to provide financial housing support in the form of both loans and gifts, while 32 per cent and 14 per cent respectively thought of the sum as either a gift or a loan, and only 16 per cent of parents treating the subsidies as loan would expect the whole sum to be reimbursed.


A majority (81%) of those with financial support plans expect the money to finance the down payment of a new flat, and most (74%) would take it from savings. As far as timing is concerned, most parents (58%) expect to contribute when their children marry.


Asked about the main reasons for increased expectations of parental financial help for adult children, many respondents mentioned the government’s inability to provide proper help for the younger generation to live independently (45%), and the unlikeliness that their adult children will achieve independence on their own (25%).


Prof Maggie Lau Ka-wai, Research Associate Professor of Institute of Policy Studies, said that the survey results indicate that reliance on family housing support has increased over the last few decades, and is now heavily depended upon for housing mobility in Hong Kong. She suggested the HKSAR Government revise the discount rate and eligibility criteria as well as increasing the supply of Subsidised Home Ownership Scheme flats to rebuild the housing ladder.


The project was funded by the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme from the Central Policy Unit of the HKSAR Government.


Click here for the research details.