Only a third of young people are now prepared to save for a deposit for more than three years before abandoning their plans, according to a new report from Halifax.
According to the report's authors, the problems involved with buying a home such as finding money for a deposit which face those looking to get onto the property ladder are such that "there is a danger of splitting the UK in two between those who can and cannot afford to buy a home".
The figures show that:
* 71 per cent of 20-45 year olds feel that country is in danger of being divided by social and economic differences between homeowners and non-homeowners
* Over half believe that Britain will become a nation of renters within the next generation
* Just under one in three are only prepared to save for three years to build up the deposit on their first home
Indeed, a fifth of non-homeowners aged 20-45 have already given up on the goal of owning a property, a figure that rises to 43 per cent among 40-45 year olds. And 57 per cent of non-homeowners are worried that they will be unable to retire if they have to rent all their life.
Craig McKinlay, Mortgages Director at Halifax said: "We are seeing a change in the social landscape of the UK, with a widening split between those who can and cannot afford to buy a home.
"Homeownership is clearly still an important goal for a lot of people, but fewer and fewer people consider it to be something they'll be able to achieve. Renters say they never feel properly settled and fear they will struggle to retire, so the social impact of this shift is significant. More needs to be done to redress the balance, both through making homeownership more accessible and offering more stability through the rental sector.”
Two thirds of young people questioned in the report say that buying a house means people are more settled in their environment, with nearly half feeling it is important for parents to start a family in a home that they own rather than rent.
The report also reveals a lack of understanding of the support available to first-time buyers through the Government schemes such as NewBuy and Help to Buy. While many welcome the schemes, aroun 40 per cent do not know if they will help. Despite the launch of the schemes, many continue to turn to the Bank of Mum and Dad. Nearly a third of parents have dipped into their savings to help their children buy a property, 12 per cent have given their child some or all of their inheritance early, and 6 per cent have dipped into their retirement fund.