Economists will tell you that the effect of rising house prices is to transfer wealth from the young to the old. The first time buyers at the bottom ultimately fund capital gains of the house owners up the chain. It is the willingness and ability of first timers to “buy in” which allows the market to function. So when you get to the stage where the average first time buyer is nearly as old as the Chancellor of the Exchequer it’s clear that the market is not functioning properly. This is reflected by the Land Registry stats which show very low sales volumes. In truth there is a generation out there who would like to buy a home but unlike their parents and grandparents before them there is no realistic prospect of them being able to afford to do so. That’s why until property becomes more affordable to them a generation currently in their 20s and 30s won’t be helping their elders to cash in their chips.