Latest research reveals that the average age of a first time buyer in the UK is now 30 years old, with the age gap between the youngest and oldest first time buyers widening to seven years, reflecting the effect of varying property prices across the country.
While UK property prices were reported to have risen by 5.8% in September year-on-year, as opposed to the 10% reported six months ago, getting a foot on the housing ladder continues to prove challenging for first-time buyers, as the Halifax reports that the average age of a fledgling buyer has hit 30 years old.
What’s more, according to the Halifax, those buying in the most expensive parts of the UK were on average seven years older than those buying in the cheaper parts of the country.
The Halifax has found that the youngest first-time buyers are in Carlisle in Cumbria and Torfaen in south Wales, where they bought at an average age of 27.
Meanwhile, the oldest average first time buyer is aged 34 in areas including Slough in Berkshire and the London boroughs of Barnet and Ealing.
The lender’s analysis also reveals a strong relationship between areas with relatively low average house prices and the youngest first time buyers.
All 10 areas with the youngest first time buyers have property prices below the national average of £200,754.
The top 10 areas with the oldest first time buyers are all in the south east of England and within these 10 areas, Richmond upon Thames, Brent, Barnet and Ealing all have average property prices of more than double the national average.
Chris Gowland, mortgages director at Halifax, said:
“The majority of areas in the country where the average age of first-time buyers is two to three years below the national average of 30 are outside southern England, mostly locations where house prices are typically lower both in monetary terms and in relation to earnings, factors that help to reduce the size of the deposit needed.
“Our latest Halifax Generation Rent report found that non-homeowners aged 20-45 would be prepared to save for around five and a half years for a deposit, while the average deposit paid by first-time buyers increased by 13% in 2015 to £32,927. With the youngest average first time buyer age dropping to 27 in some areas, this is a stark reminder of how early aspiring homeowners should start thinking about what they will need to get onto the property ladder and what options they should consider in order to take their first step.”
In a statement reporting its findings, the Halifax said that Government schemes and the increasing contribution from the Bank of Mum and Dad are likely to have prevented a sharper rise in the average age of first time buyers. For example, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) estimates that 62% of first-time buyers in 2014 became home-owners either with assistance from relatives or the Help to Buy schemes.
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