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Share of first-time buyers with dependants has doubled since 2009 says Santander

Around one in five first-time buyers have at least one dependant, in signs that more people getting on to the property ladder already have families, according to a major bank.

Some 20% of first-time buyers in 2023 had at least one dependant, up from 10% in 2009, figures from Santander show.

According to the bank’s customer data from the first quarter of 2024, a fifth of people taking their first step on the property ladder are over the age of 40.

Customers buying a home later in life may be more likely to have started a family or be caring for older parents in their home, Santander suggested.

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According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2022 the average first-time buyer was 36 years old, an increase of four years from 32 in 2004.

Elevated mortgage rates, the ability to save for a deposit during the cost-of-living squeeze and high house prices are among the hurdles facing some aspiring home-buyers.

Graham Sellar, head of business development, mortgages at Santander, said: “Buying your first home is one of life’s major milestones.

“With the average age of first-time buyers increasing in the past two decades, it seems more buyers are reaching other key moments, such as having children, before getting their foot on to the property ladder.”