First-time buyers need to save for eight years on average to build up a large enough deposit to buy a home, unless they tap the bank of mum and dad.
The research by Barclays illustrates just how unaffordable the housing market has become in the past 17 years. In 1995, buyers only needed to save for one year to get on the property ladder.
House prices trebled between 1997 and 2010, putting them out of reach for most prospective buyers. At the same time, the average deposit required is now 20pc of the property price compared with 5pc in 1995. As a result, around 60pc of Britons now ask their parents for a financial boost, Barclays found, and only half of them actually get family help.
The figures are more optimistic than at the height of the crisis in 2009, when buyers faced a 10-year average wait, and come amid signs that conditions are finally easing for first time buyers.
The latest Bank of England data shows that the average two-year fixed rate mortgage offer for buyers with a deposit of just 10pc fell sharply in December to its second lowest level in five years. Barclays last week launched a three-year fixed rate deal for buyers with just 5pc deposits.
London is the hardest area to break into, according to Barclays’ survey. Househunters face a wait of over 10 years for a home in the capital, up from 11 months in 1995. Those in the North West and Wales are least affected, with a wait of just four years and 11 months.
Analysts said the lengthy wait is often the result of miscalculated budgeting as most first-time buyers underestimate how much they have to save, especially in London.
In London, the average first-time buyer underestimates by £22,272, believing they £47,728 when in fact they have to raise £70,000. In contrast, the average househunter in the North West and the North East overestimates the amount they need to save by £2,000.