England now has just 825 homes for every 1,000 families, analysis published by the Resolution Foundation found.
There were 1,000 homes for every 867 families in 1998, with the ratio falling since.
Lindsay Judge, senior research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The number of homes built in the UK has consistently failed to match the housing needs of families. England’s housing stock has been squeezed over the past 20 years, leading to huge changes in the way we live.
“The number of families sharing in the private rented sector has trebled since the 1990s, at the same time that adult children living with parents has also increased. This is likely to be more from necessity than choice. Independent living is simply unaffordable for many young families, particularly in cities where demand is high.
“Recent government action looks to have at least stopped the housing stock squeeze getting worse. But far more is needed to get to grips with this crisis. At current building rates, we’ll be waiting another 20 years before we’re back to where we were in the 1990s.”
The Foundation added that the growth of sharing households – which includes young professionals living together, or non-dependent children living with their parents – is likely to have come about more out of necessity than choice.
It said the increase in sharing, which is not factored into official estimates of the UK’s housing needs, is greatest in areas where housing cost pressures are most acute, such as London, the South East, Birmingham and Manchester.
If current building levels of 222,000 a year continue it will take until 2036 for the ratio of homes to families to return to its 1998 high point.