Younger people who are not yet on the property ladder risk creating a future cycle in which their own children have a tougher struggle to own a home, a report says.
The current generation of 25 to 36-year-olds, the traditional age group for first-time buyers, is split into "property haves" and "property have-nots" who face very different prospects, the research from HSBC suggests.
While younger people who have managed to get on the property ladder did so typically at 29, the "have-nots" do not expect to buy their first home before the age of 35, according to the report, based on a survey of 1000 people in this age group and figures from various sources.
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Researchers predict this six-year head start for those already on the property ladder could have a variety of knock-on effects for people throughout their lives - including the level of financial support they are able to offer their own children when they want to buy their first home.
The report, titled First Time Buyers: The New Property Path, suggests those who have already bought a starter home will take their next step on the property ladder and buy a family home around the age of 36. If those who are not yet on the property ladder see a similar time lag, they will be about 42 by the time they are living in a family-sized home.
With the current average age for a first-time mother being 28, the report said many people would have either had their family before buying their first property, chosen to delay starting a family or decided to have fewer children.