AA Survey Finds Homebuyers Getting Older Before Entering Market

  • Over 50% of those under 35 still waiting to purchase first home
  • 83% of those currently over 55 had bought first home before turning 36
  • 15% aged between 25 and 35 doubt they will ever own a home.

The average age of at which people enter the property market is on the rise as over 50% of those aged between 17 and 35 are still waiting to purchase their first home, a significant departure from previous trends seen among older generations.

A survey carried out by AA Life Insurance of almost 11,000 members recorded a significant shift in the age of first-time homebuyers. While almost 83% of those aged over 55 stated they had purchased their first home before turning 36, just 37% of those currently aged between 17 and 35 have reached the same milestone

The AA, which provides mortgage protection & Life insurance, also recorded a significant decline in the number of people who purchased their first home in their mid-twenties. 25% of respondents to the survey over the age of 55 stated they owned their first home before the age of 24. However, just 7% of those currently aged between 17 and 24 have purchased a property.

Speaking on the survey’s findings Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated: “Home ownership may feel as if it is a long way away for younger Irish people. Property prices and deposit requirements make it a much more difficult proposition for the Millennial generation than it was for those who came before them. It seems as if the deck is stacked against them.”

The survey also recorded a shift in attitudes towards owning a home across generations. While 31.53% of those aged over 55 ‘strongly agreed’ with the idea that owning a home was a ‘lifestyle choice,’ just 19.11% of those under 25 held the same view.

Despite expecting to wait longer to enter the property market, home ownership remains a long-term goal for many of those under 35. Over 87% of people between 17 and 35 agree with the idea that owning a home is a personal milestone, with just over 2% of people in this age bracket stating they do not want to own a home in their lifetime.

However, the delay in being able to enter the property market appears to be having an impact on how likely young people view themselves to own a home during their life. Among those aged between 25 and 35, over 15% agreed with the statement that “Owning a home is something I doubt I will achieve,” compared to the overall average of 10%.

Moving out of their parents’ home is also taking longer for those aged between 17 and 24 currently than it has for any previous generation. While at least 65% of respondents in all other age brackets had moved out by the age of 24, just 36% of those currently under 24 have already moved out of the family home.

                                                           

Notes 

Fig.1 At what age did you move out of your parents’ home?

Based on 10,863 responses to an AA Members Survey in July 2016

  Total Male Female
Before turning 18 15.09% 14.03% 16.13%
18-24 54.16% 54.02% 54.69%
25-35 20.92% 23.41% 18.16%
36-45 1.13% 1.18% 1.10%
46-55 0.19% 0.15% 0.22%
56-65 0.13% 0.13% 0.12%
65+ 0.12% 0.18% 0.04%
Currently live at my parent(s)’ home 5.77% 4.52% 7.10%
Does not apply to me 2.39% 2.38% 2.45%

 

Fig.2; Age Breakdown: At what age did you move out of your parents’ home?

  17-24 25-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
Before turning 18 7.99% 13.00% 13.31% 15.01% 18.64% 17.49%
18-24 28.40% 52.87% 56.34% 56.48% 56.73% 52.71%
25-35 0% 19.19% 24.96% 21.95% 18.96% 22.27%
36-45 0% 0% 1.49% 1.82% 1.22% 0.55%
46-55 0% 0% 0% 0.42% 0.05% 0.47%
56-65 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.48% 0%
65+ 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.78%
Currently live at my parent(s)’ home 59.17% 13.17% 2.61% 2.27% 1.48% 1.18%
Does not apply to me 4.44% 1.76% 1.29% 2.05% 2.44% 4.55%

 

Fig.3 If you have already purchased your first home, at what age did you buy the property? (Whether by saving or securing a loan/both)

  Total Male Female
Before turning 18 0.23% 0.24% 0.20%
18-24 19.83% 19.15% 20.56%
25-35 51.08% 54.29% 47.85%
36-45 6.84% 6.30% 7.40%
46-55 1.05% 1.07% 0.90%
56-65 0.15% 0.10% 0.18%
65+ 0.03% 0.04% 0.02%
Haven’t purchased first home yet 14.12% 12.85% 15.86%
Does not apply to me 6.66% 5.96% 7.03%

 

Fig.4; Age Breakdown: If you have already purchased your first home, at what age did you buy the property? (Whether by saving or securing a loan/both)

  17-24 25-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
Before turning 18 1.59% 0.40% 0.22% 0.16% 0.11% 0.17%
18-24 7.14% 11.19% 15.32% 23.59% 28.75% 20.20%
25-35 0% 28.05% 56.06% 55.56% 54.14% 62.19%
36-45 0% 0% 6.47% 10.09% 8.33% 6.43%
46-55 0% 0% 0% 1.31% 1.93% 2.42%
56-65 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.28% 0.75%
65+ 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.25%
Haven’t purchased first home yet 69.84 49.10% 16.27% 4.79% 1.88% 1.09%
Does not apply to me 21.43% 11.26% 5.65% 4.51% 4.58% 6.51%

 

Fig.5 What was the duration of time it took before you were financially able to purchase your first home?

  Total Male Female
Less than 1 year 12.14% 11.15% 13.41%
1-2 years 18.46% 17.10% 20.21%
2-3 years 19.17% 20.07% 18.13%
3-4 years 12.40% 13.05% 11.72%
4-5 years 10.27% 10.74% 9.56%
5-6 years 6.11%

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