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Average age of first time buyer in UK rises to 35

The average age when some one buys their first property is now 35 and over half, 53%, of would be buyers not on property ladder think they will never afford to buy a home, the research from Post Office Mortgages shows.

Half of 25 t5o 34 year olds need a lump sum or better paid job to fund deposits, the research which tracked the average age of first time buyers since 1960, also found.

Those who bought their first home in the early 1960s were on average just 23 years old, significantly lower than today’s expected average age of 35.  Women who do not yet own a property are slightly more optimistic than men, expecting to buy a home at 34, compared to the male expected average of 37 years old.

However, first time buyers with Post Office Mortgages are just 30 years old on average, suggesting that some people may be able to afford to buy a home sooner than they think.

Half, 50%, of prospective homeowners aged 25 to 34 said they can’t afford the deposit for a home unless their circumstances change, such as receiving a lump sum of money or getting a better paid job.

On a regional basis, would be buyers living in London are having the most difficulty when it comes to raising a deposit, with high prices in the capital likely to be standing in their way.  Some 43% of Londoners said they couldn’t afford the deposit without a change in their circumstances such as receiving a lump sum from family.  This compares to the national average of 37%.

Potential buyers in the West Midlands buck the overall trend as just 22% of people in this region said raising the deposit is the main barrier. However, 32 per cent of people in this region cited unaffordable mortgage repayments, compared to 12% nationally.

‘Many would be first time buyers may have been put off trying to get onto the housing ladder by the size of deposits now needed. And some may be deterred by their perception of high mortgage repayments,’ said Post Office head of mortgages, Mike Cook.

‘But there are very competitive options available for people who are keen to own their first home and prospective buyers may not have to wait until they are 35 to take this step, with first time buyers with the Post Office averaging 30 years old.  In fact, so far this year, four in 10 of our customers were first time buyers, demonstrating that it’s possible for many to get on the ladder sooner than expected,’ he explained.

He pointed out that The Post Office now offers a range of products which only require a 10% deposit, which will help people get on the all important first rung.

He added that in June this year, the Post Office cut the rates across many of its fixed rate, tracker, and buy to let mortgages, and introduced a new range of fee assisted products. Many of the rate reductions were significant for the higher loan to value (LTV) products.