Number of over-40 first-time buyers rising

Santander data highlights trend of later life house purchases

Number of over-40 first-time buyers rising

An increasing number of individuals over 40 are entering the housing market as first-time buyers, recent data from Santander UK has shown.

Nearly one in five, or 18%, of this demographic has started purchasing their first homes, a trend underscored by nearly 6,000 agreements in principle issued by the bank in 2024 alone.

Among these new entrants, the eldest recorded this year was 67, nearly double the more typical first-time buyer age of 36.

Santander said the shift aligns with a broader pattern noted by the Office for National Statistics, which recently released a study showing a gradual increase in the age at which individuals acquire their first property. The median age for homeownership has risen from 32 in 2004 to 36 in 2022, indicating a trend of later life purchases.

“Buying your first home is always a special moment, and one of the major milestones we mark throughout our lives,” said Graham Sellar (pictured), head of business development for mortgages at Santander. “However, for a number of reasons many people are deciding to rent or live with their families until later in life.

“At Santander, we know it can be challenging to save for a deposit and get onto the property ladder, especially for those also juggling rental payments. However, we are here to help our customers in whatever ways we can – at whatever stage of life.”

In response to these challenges, Santander has recently enhanced its support for first-time buyers, with the bank increasing the maximum loan-to-value ratio on new builds to 95%, allowing prospective homeowners to proceed with just a 5% deposit and facilitating easier access to the property market, particularly for those who start their homeownership journey later in life.

Want to be regularly updated with mortgage news and features? Get exclusive interviews, breaking news, and industry events in your inbox – subscribe to our FREE daily newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn.