RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – A report by the National Association of Realtors this month showed record-low numbers of first-time home buyers looking to enter the housing market and they’re waiting until later in life to even get the process started.

The report said the share of first-time homebuyers dropped to an all-time low over the past year to just 26 percent of all buyers.

At the same time, the age of typical first-time buyers increased to a record high 36 years old, citing housing affordability and inventory made which made significant impacts on how, where and when people bought.

Local Realtor and founder of the Coley Group, Gretchen Coley, said education is key to reaching first-time buyers.

“We’re doing homebuyer seminars in our office right now to walk people through what does home buying look like? What do you need to be doing to prepare yourself to accrue this wealth?” Coley said.

She says recent mortgage rate hikes aren’t helping.

“It is definitely scary,” Coley said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty in the market and we are talking about a group of people who are entering the market for the first time who have seen nothing but low-interest rates.”

Still, locally, Coley says she predicts prices to stabilize over the next year in the Triangle, giving more opportunities for people to plan long-term.

“We still have people entering our market, so we feel like as we round into the new year that our pricing is going to stabilize and we feel that it’s going to appreciate again,” Coley said. “Not ruling out all of your options, looking at condos, looking at townhouses, those are still owning property, they still appreciate.”