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Would-be buyers to give up on home ownership by mid-40s

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The proportion of first-time buyers over the age of 44 will plummet in the next decade as older borrowers give up on any chance of owning a home.

Property firm Countrywide said it expects 87% of new first-time buyers to be aged between 25 and 44 by 2023. This is a rise of more than 20 percentage points on current levels.

It said people who had not made it onto the property ladder by their mid-40s would be unlikely to do so at all.

At the same time the number of first-time buyers below the age of 25 will drop as young people deal with increased levels of student debt and a growing private rental sector. Those who do make it onto the ladder are likely to have been helped by parents or other family members.

It said the Funding for Lending Scheme had helped increase the number of first-time buyers with a small deposit from 33% to 38% but warned the removal of the mortgage aspect of the scheme would see rates rising across the board for borrowers.

Countrywide CEO Grenville Turner said: “First-time buyers are the main drivers of movement in the property market so it is good to see this group of buyers return in larger numbers. The government backed Help to Buy scheme is helping many would be homeowners to get onto the housing ladder.

“However, by 2017 the scheme is likely to become irrelevant as normal housing market conditions resume and take over.

“We expect the proportion of buyers aged between 25 and 44 to grow to encompass 87% of all first-time buyers by 2023, up from 67% in 2003.

“The number of first-time buyers aged 25 and under is expected to fall by a third due to increased levels of student debt and a greater proportion of younger people renting. Despite this, we still expect that one-in-ten first-time buyers in 2023 will be aged 25 and under and supported in the main by the Bank of Mum and Dad.”

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