FTB sales slipped on a yearly basis from 26% of all sales in 2017 to 25% in 2018, despite first-timers benefiting from stamp duty relief, according to the latest analysis from NAEA Propertymark.
Demand was lower than last year with an average of 324 house buyers registered per branch, compared to 366 on average throughout 2017.
The number of properties available to buy has not changed drastically year-on-year, with 38 available per branch throughout 2017 and 39 in 2018, hitting a two-year high with 46 in September.
The number of sales agreed per branch throughout the year fell in 2018, from nine on average per month in 2017, to eight this year.
Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said the housing market has notably slowed, particularly over the last couple of months, which could be a by-product of Brexit uncertainty.
Private rented sector overview
Meanwhile, the supply of rental accommodation slightly dropped in 2018, from 189 on average per branch in 2017, to 187 this year, according to the latest data from ARLA Propertymark.
As landlords continued to face legislative change, the number of buy-to-let (BTL) investors selling their properties rose from an average of three in 2017 to four in 2018.
In April and May this year, the figure spiked to five per branch, the highest since records began in 2015.
The number of tenants experiencing rent hikes also increased this year, from 25% each month in 2017 to 28% on average this year.
Agents reported a spike in the number of prospective tenants searching for homes in July, when 79 were recorded per branch, compared to 68 on average across the year.
David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark said: “Buy-to-let investors have faced a huge amount of legislative change over the last 18 months alone, and as costs rise, they are being driven out of the market and new ones are being deterred from entering.
“The government is developing a joined-up approach for legislating the private rented sector, but until this has been put into action and the market is made more attractive for landlords, rents will continue to rise, competition will intensify, and tenants will continue to suffer.”