How Long Do First Time Buyers Stay In Their First Home?

Ever wondered how long people stay in their first home? This article answers this question and more, so you can navigate the housing market with more insight.


As of 2023, the average first time buyer in the UK is around 30 years old. The average first home price is around £245,000, and the average deposit size is about £60,000. The average time a house buyer spends in their house is approximately 21 years, but first time buyers tend to stay closer to 7-9 years as they commonly look to upsize soon after getting onto the housing market.


Interestingly, though, for a wide range of reasons, every type of house buyer is staying in their home for longer, compared to before the covid-19 pandemic.


This is for a range of reasons including:


  • Cost of living crisis
  • Trying to make more of the current property
  • Housing market slowing/ crashing
  • Cost of construction increasing, delaying improvements
  • Delay in new house availability due to global construction delays post pandemic
  • Increase in stress levels causing many to avoid the stress of moving house
  • Backlog of legal services needed for house purchases post pandemic causing a delay


The reasons for staying put are different for everyone, but overall it seems there is always at least one reason to avoid moving house, even for first time house buyers who may be eager to move on.

How Do You Know When It Is Time To Move Out Of Your First Home?


very small living room


Perhaps you are wondering if it is time for you to move out of the first house you have purchased. It is a big decision and a difficult decision to make. To help you move towards a more informed decision, check out the following signs that suggest it could be time to move, and see how they align with your current situation:

You’re Cramped


You’re a decluttering expert and a devout Marie Kondo follower with an organised house even she would envy. Yet, you’re still struggling for space. Maybe you want to start a family, or you need a home office – and your house is just not big enough for you to live the way you want or need to live. This could be a sign that you need to look at upsizing your home somewhere you can grow your dreams, family and/or career.

You’re In A Good Financial Position


Perhaps you have been given some inheritance, you have won some money, or your career has given your bank balance a monthly boost. If your financial situation has improved, if it is stable and unlikely to change, then it could be a good sign you can invest in a bigger property.


Some people choose to match financial and lifestyle needs and get a bigger house. For some people, when they have more money coming in they see a way to invest in the future by investing their money in property.


Your Frequently Asked Questions


Your Location Is Starting To Become An Issue


Maybe your child was allocated a place in a school out of area. Perhaps you have changed your work position and your commute is really long. Maybe you work for yourself now and have no need to live in the city any more.


Sometimes, the place we live no longer suits our needs. Sometimes, we want to move because our values have changed. Lots of people wanted a house in the countryside or by the sea after the pandemic because they wanted to feel secure in loving where they live in the event of another ‘lockdown’ style situation.


If you’re finding yourself away from home more often than not, or yearning to be somewhere else more often than not, it could be a sign it is time to relocate from your first home to somewhere that fits better with your wants and needs.

The Upkeep Of Your House Is A Burden


couple painting their home


First time buyers can often turn to a new-build because it could be financially favourable, or they like the idea of a property that has never been lived in before. New-builds can be a good idea, but for 94% of new-build homeowners they are having to report at least one defect once the house is complete. The number of issues can be much more for other new-build homeowners.


For first-time buyers who have purchased a house that has been occupied before, there can also be burdensome maintenance to deal with. This maintenance may just be part of that property, but it can be draining on your finances and time. In this instance, you may want to, or need to move to a property that requires less upkeep.

Your Personal Circumstances Have Changed


Do you have a new baby? Have your physical circumstances changed and you’re now disabled? Do you have a dependent parent or friend living with you? For lots of different reasons, life changes, and we can quickly find our current home being inadequate for our needs. In this instance it may not be a choice that you need to move out of your first-time property.

An Opportunity Arises


Perhaps you have seen a property within your budget for sale nearby that you love. It can be this kind of opportunity that encourages first-time buyers to relocate. There is nothing wrong with your current house, it’s just that the property opportunity available to you is, based on your wants and needs, better than what you currently have.

You Feel Different


Maybe your first house holds bad memories, or emotionally, you know it is time for a change. Maybe you are with a different partner than the person you moved into the current house with, or you have met someone after buying the property as a single person and you’d like to buy a home together. Sometimes the time just feels right to move on, and it can be a good ‘gut-feeling’ sign that things need to change.


All of the above factors can help us to move towards a change of property. As a first-time buyer, it can feel really scary to think about taking that next big step after your first step was so monumental. However, with the right signs the time is right, and plenty of good research and professional advice, perhaps a move to a new place will be a fantastic new chapter for you, your family and for the life goals you have. There are emotional challenges when moving house but with the right advice and support they can easily be overcome.


A Step-by-Step Guide To


How Long Will You Stay In Your First Home?


Getting your first property is a game-changer. Whether you hang around for 5-7 years, or set up camp for a good 20, what truly matters is curating a life that fits you and dwelling in a place you adore. Home really is where the heart is, and no matter where we’re at in life, we all do what it takes to keep that feeling alive.


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