Increase in older first-time buyers, Legal & General reports

Legal & General Mortgage Services has revealed a notable increase in older individuals stepping onto the housing ladder, with a 13% rise in the number of 56-65 year-olds searching for their first home in the first quarter of 2024.

This trend is part of a broader shift in the UK’s first-time buyer market, as highlighted in the company’s latest data from its Ignite platform.

The average age of a first-time buyer now stands at 33, with the average loan value searched for by advisers reaching £217,125 over the last year.

Kevin Roberts, managing director at Legal & General Mortgage Services, said: “Our figures show that the desire to own a home remains strong, even for those who are waiting longer to take those first steps onto the property ladder.

“As affordability begins to ease, we’ll likely see further activity in the first-time buyer market, especially if inflation continues to fall and the Bank of England reduces its base rate later in the year.”

The report also suggests that high rental prices and a recent decrease in mortgage rates may be encouraging more potential buyers to consider homeownership.

Additionally, the significant role of family support in the housing market continues, with the ‘Bank of Family’ aiding over 318,400 property purchases in 2023 through financial gifts and practical support.

Roberts added: “While affordability has eased somewhat, we know the Bank of Family has still been playing a key role in the housing market, either by gifted deposits or via practical support to help family members who are trying to save for their first home.

“More than half (58%) of the value of intergenerational support goes to help first-time buyers.”