The average homebuyer in the United States is the oldest ever recorded – 49 years old, according to a new study by the National Association of Realtors.

It is 18 years older than in 1981, when the average age was 31.

Researchers also found that the median age of first-time homebuyers has crept up to 35, from 31 in 2013 and 29 in 1981.

Both trends, the NAR says, are the result of “tightened credit conditions and the lack of inventory on the market, which drove up home sales prices” to the second-highest average in recorded history – $410,200.

While first-time buyers made up 32% of all home buyers, up from last year’s historic low of 26%, it is well below the 38% annual average since 1981.

“First-time buyers tiptoed back into the market this year with less competition and fewer multiple-offer scenarios,” said NAR Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Jessica Lautz.

“While the share of first-time buyers is still near historic lows, it is higher than last year,” she added. “Notably, today’s first-time buyers had household incomes nearly $25,000 above last year and are more likely to use financial assets to enter the market.”

The NAR attributed higher home prices and mortgage rates to eroding housing affordability.

In addition, household income for those who successfully bought homes jumped by nearly $20,000, topping six figures for only the second time in its records.

BankRate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick told Axios that younger homebuyers have faced structural challenges preventing many from entering the housing market.

Rising costs of higher education, job insecurity, and the burden of retirement savings “have made it more difficult for younger people to establish a foothold with their personal finances,” he revealed.

Luca Cacciatore | [email protected]

Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics. 

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