Nearly half (45%) of those who do not yet own a home believe they never will, according to Fidelity International’s Modern Life Report.
While 65% of those under-34 are more optimistic about their chances of owning a home in the future, the figure drops significantly for those aged between the ages of 35 and 54 (23%).
The biggest reason cited for not feeling prepared to buy a property is the financial implications of doing so, with 40% saying they don’t feel financially prepared to buy a property in the future.
Tom Stevenson, investment director for personal investing at Fidelity International, said: “Homeownership is deeply engrained in the British psyche and the inability to get on the property ladder can be hard to accept.
“Renting can feel like throwing money away and the flexibility it offers is no substitute for the feeling of security that owning a flat or house can provide.
“These emotional considerations can matter quite as much as the obvious financial benefits of homeownership in recent years.
“First-time buyers need substantial sums to get their foot onto the ladder, even with government initiatives like Help to Buy.
“And they must do so while in many cases continuing to pay high monthly rents.
“For those looking to take their first steps on the ladder, saving, or ideally investing, early is key to building up the pot that will be needed to pay deposits, fees and stamp duty.”
The increasing cost of buying a home means that 54% of 33 to 54 year-olds have never owned a property, and the average age of a first-time buyer has risen from 31 to 33 over the past decade.