By Daniel Hunter

Prospective second-time buyers can expect to wait until they are 42, on average, before taking the next step on the property ladder.

First-time homeowners are reported in a Post Office survey as saying they were 28 when they bought their first home, and don’t expect to move again until they reach 42.

The high cost of property, compared to earnings, is a key reason why people find it so difficult to get enough money together to fund an upwards move.

In the years 1960 to 1964 the average age of a first-time buyer was 24. By the mid-1980s the gap between first and second-time buyers was starting to widen, with people stepping onto the property ladder at 29 years old, and moving on at 34.

Since 2010 the distance between the average age of first-time and second-time buyers has grown still further, at 30 years and 39 years respectively.

The Post Office found that three in five second-time buyers would consider moving if home prices fell, while just under a half would be tempted if they found their dream home. Two in five could be swayed by attractive mortgage rates.

“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,” said John Willcock, head of mortgages at the Post Office.

“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.”

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