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How many First Time Buyers have children in the UK?

In this article, we look at why the average age of First Time Buyers has increased, and how having dependent children could affect your mortgage application and affordability.

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 12 June 2024

3 min read

How many First Time Buyers have children in the UK?

A recent report by Santander has identified that the number of First Time Buyers that have dependent children has doubled since 2009. According to the report from one of the top high-street banks in the UK, one in five (around 20%) of first time buyers has at least one dependent child.

The study was generated from its own customer data and showed that the number of first time buyers that have children had increased from 10% in 2009 to 20% in 2023.

One of the main reasons for the significant increase in the number of parents being first time buyers was an increase in age. An earlier report from the bank had suggested that 1 in 5 first time buyers from their customers was over the age of 40.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Statista.com both showed the average age of first time buyers in the UK had increased from 32 in 2004 to 36 in 2022. Also, a report by Halifax shows that the average value of a first time buyer home was £288,136 in 2023.

Other contributing factors are the recent cost of living crisis and the pandemic, which has halted the housing market for a few years. Also, inflation has meant that more households are less able to save for deposits due to the costs of goods and services with relatively low increases in wages in comparison.

Being a parent is costly and it will automatically mean that your disposable income will reduce significantly. A recent survey from Moneyfarm shows that the average cost of raising a child in the UK is £223,256 to age 18, which equates to £12,400 per year and £1,030 per month.

Mortgage lenders will look at your affordability as part of your mortgage assessment which will take parental costs in to account. This means that it becomes even more difficult for adults with dependent children to get a new mortgage.

The positive for this is that most adults over the age of 30 should have a stable income and a greater ability to save prior to having a child. It also means that you should be financially better off before you buy your first home potentially.

A report by the Building Societies Association (BSA) had said that 2023 was the most difficult time for first time buyers in over 70 years. It suggested that the challenges with income and expenditure for UK adults, coupled with regulatory restrictions had all contributed to this.

The government has come under recent pressure to release a support package to help first time buyers and to relieve some of these financial pressures. A recent poll from Mortgage Solutions earlier this year revealed that over 30% of responses from mortgage professionals wanted to see improvements to the housing supply and help with affordability for first time buyers.

Where Do I Start With Buying a House? | This Morning

Financial expert Martin Lewis provided some helpful tips for first time buyers in this interview on ITV’s This Morning several years ago.

There are additional challenges for first time buyers with children who are looking for a mortgage to get a foot on the property ladder. On top of the added complications of finding a property with good schools in the area and looking for a location that is good for raising children.

Mortgage lenders will automatically ask for the number of dependent children that will be living in the property as part of the application process. They will also ask for details of how much you spend on childcare each month to assess your affordability.

Some lenders are definitely better than others for first time buyers because they will offer higher loan to value mortgages (e.g. smaller deposits), and they can offer higher income multiples. You should also check to see whether you are eligible for any government support for your child on top of anything that you might get from your employer.

Another consideration with mortgages for parents is that some will take benefits in to account as part of your income and others won’t

If you need further help or you would like to speak to a qualified mortgage expert then you can contact 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE for more information.

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