First-time buyers are getting older, according to new research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, NOP and Bristol & West. Ten years ago 23.8% of first-time buyers were aged between 21 and 24. This has since dropped by 43% to 13.5% of the total. Over the same time period the 35-44 year-old age group has grown to 19.8%, from 15%. The largest age group remains the 25-34 year-olds with 49% of the first-time buyers market. The rising average age of buyers is probably accounted for by the need for a higher deposit and larger income necessary to buy a property.