Older people are increasingly opting for "cheaper to run" new-build homes amid surging energy costs, an industry body has found.
There has also been a marked drop in the proportion of under-25s purchasing a brand new property over the past five years , according to the National House Building Council (NHBC).
The proportion of newly constructed homes that are sold to over-55s has increased by one third from 17% to 23% since 2008.
The NHBC, a non-profit body which provides warranties and insurance for new-build properties, put the rise down to older people favouring houses that are well-insulated and require little maintenance.
The findings came as fuel poverty campaigners wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron demanding that party leaders act on the "national crisis" of cold homes.
Fuel poverty alliance Energy Bill Revolution said that "woeful" levels of insulation have led to Britain's homes falling "way behind" those of comparable European countries such as Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.
Bosses of Britain's big six energy firms have been summoned to appear before a committee of MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee next Tuesday to explain a new round of price rises after SSE, British Gas, npower and ScottishPower all announced increases of more than £100 to an average dual fuel bill.
Richard Tamayo, NHBC's commercial director, said: "Our figures show that the proportion of over-55s purchasing these properties has increased to nearly a quarter, while the numbers of young people buying new homes has decreased slightly.
"New homes are a particularly attractive option for the older generation as they are cheaper to run, easier to maintain, safer and provide protection through an NHBC warranty."
The NHBC figures also offer further evidence that young people are struggling to get a foothold on the property ladder despite schemes such as NewBuy and the first phase of Help to Buy, which give those with deposits as low as 5% a helping hand to buy a new-build home.
The second phase of Help to Buy to help those struggling to get on or move up the housing ladder was fired into action this month and will help people buy either a new-build or an existing home with a 5% deposit.
The share of new-build properties sold to under-25s dropped from over 8% in 2008 to just under 6% this year, a fall of a quarter.
Mr Tamayo said the findings showed that young people were still "finding it difficult to access the market".
The NHBC's statistics, based on four-fifths of the market, also suggest that Government moves to boost housebuilding are already bearing fruit.
A total of 33,573 new homes were registered between July and September, an increase of one-fifth (19%) on the same period last year, but 6% down on the previous quarter.