Single people in their 20s will have to save for a deposit for up to 30 years, revealed Shelter.
An entire generation could be forced out of owning a house, housing charity Shelter also said.
Single people are facing the greatest obstacles in owning a house. They could need over 14 years to save enough money for a deposit, unless they enter into a relationship. Many are therefore trapped in the private rental sector, or living with their parents.
London faces the highest costs, with single people faced with 30 years of saving, while couples with children will wait 21 years before having enough money for a deposit.
Couples who have a family in their 20s could have 12 years of saving ahead of them, which is almost double that of childless couples.
This could result in couples having children in secondary school before they have their own house.
Couples without children have an average of six and a half years of saving, compared with 11 years in London.
The study is based on homeowners needing a 20% deposit. The research considered earnings, house prices, rents, and spending on essentials across the country.
There are also considerable regional differences in the time for first to buyers to save, according to Shelter.
In 60% of areas in England, couples with a child are looking at more than a decade of saving for a deposit.
High outgoings and house prices, alongside low incomes, mean couples with children in Devon, Cornwall and Leicester, need more time to save than the same couple in some parts of London.
Singletons Need to Save for a Deposit for 30 Years
Shelter has made an online calculator available for people to work out how long it should take them to save for a house in their area, based on their circumstances.
Lauren Pinney, 28, from Brighton, says: “My husband Ivan and I have tried everything to save for a deposit. We moved out of our one-bedroom flat and tried living with my parents for a while.
“Now we live in a flat share with friends to keep costs as low as possible, but with bills, rent and the cost of living going up, it’s just impossible.
“We both earn decent salaries, but it’s just not the same as it was in my parents’ generation.
“We want to start a family but we’ve had to resign ourselves to the fact that saving for both a child and deposit is not going to happen and we may never own a home of our own.”1
Chief Executive of Shelter, Campbell Robb, comments: “This is the first time research like this has been conducted at a local level to reveal the harsh realities that generation rent is having to confront because of our shortage of affordable homes.
“Despite working hard and saving what they can each month, today’s young people face life-changing choices between starting a family or buying a home of their own. Imagine a 28-year-old couple weighing up their options: they can save for a home now and put off starting a family until they’re 35, or they can start a family now but accept they’ll be renting until their child is a teenager.
“Meanwhile, single people face an added pressure to either find a partner or to live with their parents well into their 30s if they’re ever to have a hope of saving enough for a deposit.
“It seems the only ones with any hope left are the few who can resort to the bank of mum and dad. But with so many parents already feeling the squeeze, this is not a sustainable option.
“When we have young people working hard to save up for a home of their own to no avail, it is obvious that the Government has to start meeting people halfway. Unless we see radical action to tackle our chronic shortage of affordable homes, the next generation of young people will find it even harder to find a place to call their own.”1
The amount of affordable housing constructed in 2012-13 was down by 29% from the previous year. This shortage of homes forces higher rents and house prices, and deposits are even harder to save for.
Jack Dromey, shadow housing minister, says: “This research shows the scale of the housing crisis, and the impact it is having on young people and families, who are locked out from home ownership.
“David Cameron simply has no answer to Britain’s housing crisis. Despite relaunching his Get Britain Building programme four times and making hundreds of announcements, the number of affordable homes being built actually went down by a third in the last year.
“Labour has been calling for urgent action to tackle the biggest housing crisis in a generation. We need to bring forward investment in house building to tackle the chronic shortage of affordable homes, help the next generation find a home of their own, create thousands of jobs and apprenticeships and rebuild Britain for the future.”1
Housing minister Mark Prisk, adds: “The evidence shows that affordability has improved under this Government, with housing at its most affordable since 2003 and the highest number of first time buyers since 2007.
“We are building 170,000 new affordable homes across England, and have introduced a package of measures to help people move on to and up the housing ladder.”1