Six out of ten parents can afford to chip in to help their children get a foot on the property ladder, according to latest research by Post Office Money.

Even if the older generation don’t have the actual cash to be able to write a cheque to cover the deposit on a home for their youngsters, the majority provide financial assistance in other ways.

The few who aren’t in a position to help out at all say they feel guilty. The true scale of the bank of mum and dad has been revealed in answers to a survey of 1,009 millennials and 1,021 parents conducted last month.

Researchers also took account of the earnings of FTBs and the size of the deposit needed in the present housing market.

“Parents are making invaluable contributions in a variety of other ways including letting the younger generation live at home for free (42 per cent of those questioned), charging reduced rent (25 per cent) and 15 per cent providing free childcare,” pointed out the managing director of Post Office Money, Owen Woodley.

Only one in 20 of the older generation said they could afford to chip in the £50,000 or more to cover the full cost of the average deposit for a first time buyer in the UK.

Parents of millennials have an average financial wealth of £52,746, according to the results of the survey.

Said Mr Woodley: “If they choose to assist their child’s home purchase, on average they can afford to use a third (35 per cent) of this wealth, equivalent to £18,396 or a third of the average deposit.”

Four in five parents surveyed were more than happy to provide financial support if it wouldn’t leave them skint.

Of those who have come up with the readies, 59 per cent provided the money as a gift, 40 per cent considered it a loan.

The survey results don’t paint an encouraging picture for those hoping to own the roof over their heads. Looks like they’ll have a long wait, especially if they come from a pricey place like Bucks.

Mr Woodley has lots of sympathy for both age groups. “Given that 95 per cent of parents are unable to provide a full deposit and that millennials can only afford to save seven per cent of their income towards the down payment, the average deposit could take 18 years to save for, although this drops significantly outside London and the south east.

“As a result it is no surprise that 43 per cent of millennials who received support to buy said it was because their parents knew they wouldn’t have been able to purchase a home without it.”

He warned: “Whilst it is excellent to see the positive impact parental support is having on family relationships, it is important that families are having frank financial conversations.

With 24 per cent having not agreed any repayment terms and only 15 per cent having an informal agreement in place, relationships could become strained in future.”

Sixty six per cent of millennials were grateful for the help they had received. Twenty per cent said it had had a positive impact on the family relationship. Thirty two per cent felt indebted to mum and dad. Seven per cent of parents felt guilty that they’d been unable to offer any help.

Mr Woodley summed up: “We can see that parents are doing all they can to support their children.”

*An end of terrace building (pictured) facing The Common at Stokenchurch is one of four properties in next Wednesday’s Thompson Wilson auction in High Wycombe.

It has two rooms plus a kitchenette and a loo on the ground floor and loft space. The auctioneers believe it could have potential to convert it to a starter home. It has been a beauty salon in the past.

Guide price: £150,000+.