An estimated 34% of young Scots rent from a private landlord and 16% live with their parents, according to research from Bank of Scotland.
In contrast, just 21% of Scots aged between 18 and 34 were found to hold a mortgage.
Fewer than a quarter (23%) of those living with their parents were doing so through choice, and three-quarters (75%) were unable to afford to move out.
A quarter (25%) of young people in Scotland said a lack of knowledge was a key barrier to homeownership, with 39% unable to confidently explain how a mortgage works.
The survey of more than 2,100 young Scots found that the greatest obstacles to getting onto the housing ladder were affordability (73%), saving for a deposit (62%), and the availability of suitable properties (34%).
Fewer than a quarter (23%) of those living with their parents are doing so through choice, and three quarters (75%) are living in the family home, as they are unable to afford to move out.
More than a third (34%) of respondents said they are likely to receive inheritance, with 50% intending to use the money to contribute towards purchasing a property.
However, 11% believe they will never be in a position to afford their own home.
Young people in the far north of Scotland were the least likely to be confident in explaining how a mortgage works, with 40% in the Highlands and Islands admitting they would struggle to do so.
Young locals in this area were also more likely to say a lack of knowledge is one of the top three barriers to home ownership (31%), second only to those living in South and Central Scotland (32%).
Comparatively, those in North East showed relative confidence, with only 18% highlighting lack of knowledge as a barrier to buying a home.
Nearer to the border, young people were mostly likely to be homeowners, with 35% of 18 to 35-year-olds in South Scotland holding a mortgage.
Despite this, in Glasgow, where the average house price is £196,625, just 18% of young people were found to own their own home.
Similarly, young Glaswegians also expected to wait the longest to get foothold on the property ladder, until 32, on average.
Ricky Diggins, director of Bank of Scotland, said: “Young people in Scotland who want to realise their home-owning dreams continue to be affected by issues around affordability and availability of properties.
“Our survey shows that a third of adults under 34 are struggling to find a property that’s right for them and a sixth continue to live in the family home whilst they save for their next step.
“Our research also revealed that young Scots don’t feel financially confident when it comes to understanding how mortgages work, feeling this knowledge gap is impeding their progress onto the housing ladder.
“Asking friends and family members to share their experiences is a great way to increase confidence, and getting in touch with your Bank to discuss the basic steps, will help demystify the process.”