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First-time buyers nearing 40 before they can buy a home

Written by: Su Fowler
First-timer buyers predict they will be 37 years old before they are able to afford their first home.

Prior to the pandemic, the age at which most first-timers felt they would get on the property ladder was 32.

The survey of 2,000 first-time buyers and existing homeowners conducted in September for the digital bank also found that 86% of prospective first-timers considered the cost-of-living crisis to be their biggest barrier to buying a property.

Meanwhile, the average first-time buyer said it would take them 7.5 years to save enough money for a mortgage deposit, this was opposed to the existing homeowners surveyed who took on average only five years to secure their first home.

More than three-quarters (77%) of first-time buyers said they were worried about inflationary and recessionary pressures on their wallets. Nearly 60% said the difficulty of saving up for a deposit was delaying their plans.

Inheritance, shared ownership and Help To Buy

When it came to financing their first home, almost 30% said they thought that the only route to home ownership would be if they received an inheritance.

In addition, almost three-quarters (71%) said they intended to use their savings, and  35% are planning to use government programmes such as the help to buy/shared ownership scheme.

First Direct said the results showed the need for products to help first-timers, especially since the existing homeowners said it had taken them less time – five years of saving – to secure a deposit for their first home.

First Direct: ‘A distant dream for many’

Chris Pitt, the First Direct chief executive, said: “Getting on the property ladder is a distant dream for many today. The rise in house prices relative to incomes is well documented, as is the difficulty in saving for a deposit while at the same time paying rent. 

“What this study shows is the time it takes to save and realise the dream of home ownership – it is a long time and getting longer.  The state of the economy will only make this situation worse.”

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