Estate agents: Under 30s are being squeezed out of market

Younger borrowers are increasingly struggling to get onto the housing ladder despite an increasing in the total number of first-time buyers in August, new research has found.

The National Association of Estate Agents housing market report shows just 3 per cent of all recorded sales in August were to buyers aged 18 to 30, the lowest level since the report began in August 2013 and down from 12 per cent a year ago. In August, borrowers aged between 31 and 40 accounted for 45 per cent of all sales.

August also saw an increase in the proportion of first-time buyer sales, amounting to 28 per cent of all transactions in the month – the highest level since April this year. First-time buyers as a proportion of all sales fell to 25 per cent in May and then to 20 per cent in June and July.

Research also showed 90 per cent of sales were to couples, with just 7 per cent of buyers purchasing a home on their own.

Meanwhile, 39 per cent of NAEA members claim to already have seen a drop in demand for properties due to fears around an upcoming interest rate hike.

NAEA managing director Mark Hayward says: “Reports from our 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 last 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.”