A generation are putting their mortgage dreams on hold and are being forced to rent, according to new figures.
Potential homeowners are being thwarted by high deposits and tight credit conditions, with the number of tenants seeking rental properties reaching an eight year high as a result, according the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
Figures released today by John Charcol show that the proportion of all house sales agreed by first time buyers fell to just 7% in September.
Conditions could become even more difficult for those that want to own their own home, as the Financial Services Authority has proposed a range of tough measures that would restrict who lenders can agree a residential home loan with.
The demand for rental properties is now almost double what it was at the peak of the property market boom in 2007.
Ian Potter, operations director of ARLA, said: "The market has bounced back in a way that no one could have predicted to levels of demand that have not been seen since the last century.
"More than 70% of our agents have stated that consumers coming to their offices are being forced to rent because of the pressure exerted on potential home buyers.
"This is real evidence of a generation forced into renting and the Government must recognise the need for regulatory protection for them."
Demand is highest in the south east of England where 81% of agents have stated that there are more tenants than properties compared to 67% in the rest of the UK and 73% in Central London.
"It has to be hoped that this unprecedented growth in the rental market will attract much needed investment into the private rental sector as it copes with the huge surge in demand from a generation who cannot afford to buy," explained Mr Potter.
"But we must ensure that 'Generation Rent' receives as much help as possible from the Government to ensure the proper regulation of the sector."
Find the best mortgage rate - Compare best selling mortgages
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.