Average second-time buyer now over 40

The survey found that those currently living in their first home took their first step onto the property ladder at the age of 28, but expect to wait a further 14 years before climbing onto the second rung.

In contrast, those who have already made this leap and are currently second time property owners did so at the age of 34 – a head start of eight years.

John Willcock, head of mortgages at the Post Office, said: “Taking that all-important step onto the housing ladder sometimes seems like the biggest hurdle a homebuyer will face.

“However, we can see that it doesn’t get any easier as people try to move up the property ladder and second-time buyers can face their own set of challenges.

“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.”

The Post Office also looked at the average age in years gone by. In the mid-1960s, second-time buyers had to wait just three years before moving on from their first home as the average age of a first-time buyer between 1965 and 1969 was 25, moving onto their second home at the age of 28.

However, in recent years, this gap has climbed to nine years; the average age of a first-time buyer between 2010 and 2013 was 30, moving onto their second home at the age of 39.

Prospective second-time buyers would be encouraged to move if house prices were to fall (60%), and just under half (45%) would be swayed if they found their dream home.

Two in five (41%) could be charmed into moving by competitive mortgage rates, while a quarter (25%) would be led by their relationship and consider moving up if they had plans to get married or start a family.