First time buyer average age creeps up across UK

The average age at which someone buys their first home has risen to 32, up from 29 in 2011 and is now over 30 in every UK region.

This is one of the stats from a comprehensive report on first time buyer trends compiled by the Halifax.

It says that last year saw first-time buyer numbers rise at a record rate, up 35 per cent, to 409,370.

The average FTB in 2021 put down a £53,935 deposit on a first property costing £264,140.

Since 2009 first-time buyer numbers have more than doubled. With an increase of over 100,000 in the last 12 months, a total of 409,370 new buyers entered the housing market in 2021, up 35 per cent on 2020.

Despite this surge in numbers, first-time home purchasers remained at around half of all home loans.

Each region across the UK saw a marked rise in the number of new buyers in the market last year. 

The biggest increase was in London, where numbers rose 49 per cent.

The smallest, Scotland, still saw an increase by almost a quarter. 

The number of first-time buyers has more than doubled over the last 10 years in every region except London.

As more buyers entered the market the average first-time buyer deposit fell six per cent for the UK, with only Wales and Scotland noting an increase regionally. This fall in the UK average was set against a rise in the average purchase price of first homes, which meant that, overall, the gap between purchase price and deposit widened in every region.

Esther Dijkstra, mortgage director at Halifax, says: “There were a number of factors influencing home buying decisions in 2021. While working from home and the ‘race for space’ was key for many, particularly movers, it’s clear that the Stamp Duty holiday increased the availability of first-rung homes as others moved up the ladder.

“Lifestyles have changed; over time more people have chosen to go on to higher education, go travelling, or move around for work, which are all factors in the increase in first-time buyer age. 

“However, undoubtedly, the biggest drivers are the cost of homes and the need to save a significant deposit to get on the housing ladder.

“In 2021, the increase in average house price to £264,140, combined with difficulties in raising a deposit, meant that the gap between purchase price and deposit widened in every region in the UK.”

Written by: Houseladder