Santander reveals proportion of first-time buyers with dependants has doubled since 2009

The share of first-time buyers with at least one dependant has increased from 10 per cent in 2009 to 20 per cent in 2023 Santander data shows, indicating that more people getting their foot onto the first rung of the property ladder are now families.1

One suggestion for this change is the increasing average age of first-time buyers, with one-in-five buyers now over the age of 40, according to Santander customer data.2 Customers buying a home later in life may be more likely to have started a family or be caring for older parents in their home. 

According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2022 the average first-time buyer was 36 years of age, an increase of four years compared to 32 in 2004.3

Graham Sellar, Head of Business Development, Mortgages at Santander, commented: “Buying your first home is one of life’s major milestones.  With the average age of first-time buyers increasing in the past two decades, it seems more buyers are reaching other key moments, such as having children, before getting their foot onto the property ladder. We know that for families who are juggling finding a suitable property in an area with access to good local schools, against the costs of bringing up children such as childcare, saving for a dream home can prove challenging.”

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Notes to Editors:
(1) Based on Santander customer data.
(2) Based on Santander mortgage data, Q1 2024.
(3) ONS data included in the April 2024 Milestones: journeying through modern life report, which can be accessed here
Santander’s maximum lending age is 75, and a minimum mortgage term is five years. 


Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 31 December 2023, the bank had around 19,800 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, 7 million digital customers via a nationwide 444 branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the FCA and the PRA in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS in the UK. 

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain and one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. The group’s activities are consolidated into five global businesses: Retail & Commercial Banking, Digital Consumer Bank, Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB), Wealth Management & Insurance and Payments (PagoNxt and Cards). This operating model allows the bank to better leverage its unique combination of global scale and local leadership. Santander aims to be the best open financial services platform providing services to individuals, SMEs, corporates, financial institutions and governments. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising €220 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2030. In the first quarter of 2024, Banco Santander had €1.3 trillion in total funds, 166 million customers, 8,400 branches and 211,000 employees.