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Borrowers stay in first homes for 14 years


The average mortgage borrower lives in their first home for 14 years with high house prices proving the key barrier, new Post Office research shows.

In its Step-Up report, published today, it reveals the average age of a second-time buyer is now 42, compared to 28 for first-time buyers.

In 1960 the average age of a first-time buyer was 24 and the average person moved within a year but the gap between first and second home purchases has grown over the decades.

The gap has varied over the years and was just five years between 2000 and 2005 before shooting up to nine years between 2010 to 2013 and 14 years today.

Six in 10 prospective second-time buyers would be encouraged to move if house prices fell while just under half would be swayed if they found their dream home.

Two in five could be nudged into moving by competitive mortgage rates, while 25 per cent would be led by their relationship and consider moving up if they had plans to get married or start a family.

Post Office head of mortgages John Willcock says: “Second time buyers now expect to wait until they are in their 40s before moving on from their starter home, perhaps having to put on hold placing their roots or building a family home for years to come.

Average age of homeonwers
Year Average age of a first-time buyer Average age of a second-time buyer
1960-1964 24 24
1965-1969 25 28
1970-1974 25 29
1975-1979 27 31
1980-1984 27 31
1985-1989 29 34
1990-1994 28 36
1995-1999 29 39
2000-2004 29 37
2005-2009 30 35
2010-2013 30 39
Source: Post Office    


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  1. Well good for them.

    The piece seems to imply that it is a ‘good thing’ to move. Why? Buy a decent house in a decent area with potential and then just extend from time to time. Far cheaper. No solicitors, probably no survey, and certainly no Stamp Duty, no removal costs and no Estate Agents.

    I know plenty of people who waited 20 to 30 years before moving. Then most were able to do it mortgage free. But of course they are the sensible ones.

    It is only in this country that moving is considered a ‘good idea’. In France Spain and Italy people stay for life. Indeed in many cases property is handed down generation to generation. But of course that wouldn’t suit the legions of Mortgage Brokers in the UK. Nor come to that the UK economy that relies on people spending money they don’t have.

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