Mortgage adviser searches climb 13% among older buyers

The first quarter of the year saw a 13% rise in the number of mortgage adviser searches among older buyers, new research from Legal & General has shown.

L&G suggested the rise in 56–65-year-olds searching for their first property compared to the same period last year indicates that a growing number of buyers are having to wait until their late fifties but are still keen to take their first step onto the housing ladder.

Further insight from Legal & General’s Ignite tool found that over the last year – the period between April 2023 and April 2024 – 38% of potential buyers in the UK were first-time buyers, with an average age of 33.

When comparing Q1 2024 and Q4 2023, there was a 37% increase in the number of 18-30-year-old first-time buyers searching for a property, and a 33% increase in 31-40-year-old first-time buyers.

There was a natural decline in overall market activity in the lead up to Christmas, and L&G suggested these increases mark a return to activity in the spring months.

“Our figures show that the desire to own a home remains strong, even for those who are waiting longer to take those first steps onto the property ladder,” managing director at Legal & General Mortgage Services, Kevin Roberts, said.

“As affordability begins to ease, we’ll likely see further activity in the first-time buyer market, especially if inflation continues to fall and the Bank of England reduces its base rate later in the year.

“There are a number of factors likely to be impacting people’s decisions to buy a property. High rental prices may encourage some customers toward homeownership. Equally, as mortgage rates decreased at the start of the year, customers who had been waiting for the right time to buy may have found products which are more affordable.”

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