Analysis by the Post Office found that people living in their first home bought at 28 but expect to wait until 42 before buying their next home.
In contrast, those who are already second time property owners moved on from their first property at the age of 34 – a head start of eight years.
In the 1960s, the average second-time buyer had to wait only three years before moving on from their first home. The average age of a first-time buyer between 1965 and 1969 was 25.
However, in recent years, this gap has climbed to nine years; the average age of a first-time buyer between 2010 and 2013 was 30, moving onto their second home at the age of 39.
John Willcock, head of mortgages at the Post Office, said: “Taking that all-important step onto the housing ladder sometimes seems like the biggest hurdle a homebuyer will face. However, we can see that it doesn’t get any easier as people try to move up the property ladder and second-time buyers can face their own set of challenges.
“Second time buyers now expect to wait until they are in their 40s before moving on from their starter home, perhaps having to put on hold placing their roots or building a family home for years to come.”
According to the study, 60% of prospective second-time buyers would be encouraged to move if house prices fell and 45% would be swayed if they found their dream home.
Two in five said they “could be charmed into moving by competitive mortgage rates”, while a quarter would be led by their relationship and consider moving up if they had plans to get married or start a family.
Mortgage experts have however pointed out that high house prices due to a shortage of housing supply will continue to dampen down how many buyers can get on the property ladder.
House prices rose at the highest annual rate in three years from July 2012 to July 2013.