Young couples are delaying marriage and starting families until they get out of the rental sector, research by Yorkshire Building Society shows.
A study of 500 adults looking to buy a property in the next three years found major life milestones are being postponed in order to afford to buy a home.
A quarter of people are delaying tying the knot, while 15 per cent don’t want to have children until they have secured their bricks and mortar.
A third of people are avoiding buying a new car, while 55 per cent aren’t going on holidays.
Ben Merritt, director of mortgages for Yorkshire Building Society, says: “Would-be borrowers are facing some particular challenges at the moment when it comes to getting on the property ladder, due to factors like the high cost of living and interest rate rises squeezing their affordability.
“However, our research shows the great British love affair with homeownership lives on, so-much-so that people are prepared to make greater sacrifices than just cutting down on nights out or making lunch instead of buying it – in order to achieve it.
“In fact, they are even putting off major life events like their education, having a family or a much-needed break from work, to afford to buy their own place.”
The average age when those polled expect to be able to buy their first home is now just over 35-years-old.
The average deposit now stands at a staggering £31,916 - rising to £44,128 in London - and will take nearly five years to save for.
Among the prospective purchasers who are receiving money from family, the average amount they expect to get is £18,047 – more than half of their overall deposit.
It also emerged that 64 per cent are looking to buy with their partner to ease the financial outlay.
But 53 per cent of respondents said their main driver when it comes to purchasing a home is to stop wasting money on rent.
First-time buyers are optimistic about the rate at which they will pay their mortgages off, estimating it will take them just 23.4 years on average.
Meanwhile 43 per cent of those polled, via Opinium, said it’s more important to them to have a shorter mortgage, than initial lower mortgage payments.
Merritt adds: “Some of our findings are pretty stark and people are clearly having to make life-changing decisions. However, we can also see that owning a home is still important to them and they are determined to find ways of doing so.
“By the same token, some of the choices would-be borrowers are making could be seen as positive signs of a return to more traditional values, too.
“Buying a house is the biggest financial commitment most of us ever make, and it’s good that people are taking this seriously in the kinds of ways which were perhaps more typical a few decades ago, before the recent era of unusually cheap credit.”