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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.

It seems more buyers are reaching other key moments, such as having children, before getting their foot on to the property ladder

Graham Sellar, Santander

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.”



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