18-30 homebuyers at all-time low

First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of house purchases in August compared to 20% in July 2014 – the highest proportion since April 2014.

Nearly nine in 10 of homebuyers purchased in couples, as just 7% bought alone.

In total 45% of sales were to 31-40 year olds.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the National Association of Estate Agents, said: “It is evident that first-time buyers are indeed getting older, with the majority of homebuyers this month aged 31 to 40, suggesting some correlation between the increase in the first time buyer market and this age group.

“It is concerning at the lack of young people unable to buy their first home before the age of thirty, having to rent or stay at home for longer in order to save.

“While the increase in first-time buyers is a positive, what could be a worry for home buyers is the prospective interest rate rise that’s on the horizon.”

Nine in 10 NAEA agents expect base rate rises to affect property demand, as four in 10 already report seeing demand drop.

Housing stock decreased to 49 per NAEA member branch in August compared to 51 in July 2014, while the average number of sales agreed per branch decreased from nine in July to eight in August.

House hunters registering with NAEA agents increased from 368 in July to 372 in August.

Hayward added: “The lack of housing supply is more than evident as our NAEA members’ record declining numbers of available properties on their books.

“This emphasises the need for the government to take action and ensure measures are in place for more new homes to be built to address the housing shortage.

“The gap between supply and demand only continues to push up house prices, making opportunities for the younger generation to get onto the property ladder even slimmer.”