PHOTO: ALEXANDER RATHS/123RF – There are a number of ways parents can help their kids – but it usually relies on them owning their own houses, too.

Mortgage brokers say about half of all first-home buyers purchase properties with the help of their parents, sparking warnings New Zealand is at risk of developing a “landed gentry”.

Bruce Patten, of Loan Market, said he had seen parents offer their children gifts of up to $100,000 to help with purchases.

Before the global financial crisis, less than 20 per cent of first-home buyers were helped, he said, because they could borrow up to 95 per cent of a house’s purchase price, at the same mortgage interest rate as someone with a bigger deposit.

But since the loan-to-value restrictions limited how much low-deposit lending banks could do, half to 60 per cent of all buyers needed assistance.

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