The younger generation continues to be squeezed out of the housing market, as the number of buyers aged between 18 to 30 remains at an all-time low at just three per cent of recorded sales for August, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
The NAEAâs August Housing Market Report shows that the number of first time buyers (FTBs) increased for the first time since April this year, from 20 per cent of sales in July to 28 per cent of sales in August. While the number of sales made to those aged between 18 to 30 remained low, sales to those aged 31 to 40 were the highest recorded for the month, with almost half (45 per cent) of homes sold being bought by those in this age bracket. The figures suggest that the majority of FTBs fall into the latter group, as high house prices price the younger generation out of the market.
The report also found that most buyers (90 per cent) bought as couples, with just seven per cent buying alone.
Although the rise in the FTB market is a positive, nearly 90 per cent of NAEA agents believe the foreseen rise in interest rates will affect the demand for property in some way, with another 39 per cent of members already claiming to see signs of demand dropping off.
Mark Hayward, Managing Director of the National Association of Estate Agents, said: âReports from our NAEA members suggest that the high house prices of the current housing market are still proving a barrier for the younger generation. It is evident that first time buyers are indeed getting older, with the majority of home buyers this month aged 31 to 40, suggesting some correlation between the increase in the FTB 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.â
Indeed, a recent report from ARLA found that over a third (68 per cent) of respondents reported more would-be tenants than properties available in the third quarter of 2014, while Countrywide says there are now five tenants chasing each rental property in the UK, up from 4.2 in August 2013.