A new generation is driving the U.S. housing market forward, faced with new challenges but holding to some traditional values when buying a new home.

“I believe the millennials are coming of age and they are coming of age later,” said Martin Rueter, president of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, on Wednesday. “But they are now pushing that 30-year age mark and coming out of the woodwork buying houses.”

The large student loan debt many millennials have incurred is one of the chief barriers to their buying homes, but low-interest rates on home mortgages are helping mitigate that to some extent, Rueter said.

As president of Weichert Real Estate, Rueter has a national perspective on the housing market, which is in the fifth year of a sustained post-Recession recovery.

In June, the National Association of Realtors reported existing-home sales sprang ahead in May to their highest pace in almost a decade, growing to 5.53 million, a 4.5 percent increase from the year-ago month.