The average age that prospective first time buyers expect to make it onto the property ladder has increased to 35, new research has revealed.
The study, conducted by the Post Office, shows the average age has been increasing steadily since the early 1960s, when 23 years old was the age when people tended to buy their first home.
Women who do not yet own a property are slightly more optimistic than men, expecting to buy a home at 34, compared to the male expected average of 37 years old.
Elsewhere amongst the research, more than half (53%) of would-be buyers not currently on the property ladder believe they will never afford to buy a home.
Stopping most people experiencing property ownership is the need to find a deposit.
Exactly half of 25-34 year olds said they would not be able afford the deposit for a home unless their circumstances change, such as receiving a lump sum of money or getting a better paid job.
Would-be buyers living in London have the most difficulty when it comes to raising a deposit, with high property prices in the capital standing in their way.
"Many would-be first time buyers may have been put off trying to get onto the housing ladder by the size of deposits now needed," said Post Office head of mortgages, Mike Cook.
"And some may be deterred by their perception of high mortgage repayments."
However, he also points out that there are very competitive options available for people who are keen to own their first home.
Indeed, research from Moneyfacts.co.uk recently showed the average five-year fixed mortgage rate has fallen below 5% for the first time since records began in 1988.
In the last 29 months since bank base rate has been on hold at 0.50%, the average five-year fixed mortgage rate has stood as high as 6.24%.
However, with the cost of funding fixed rate mortgages having fallen to an all time low, the average rate currently payable on a five-year fixed rate mortgage has dropped to 4.99%.
The data also revealed that the average two-year fixed mortgage rate has fallen from 5.18% in September 2009 to 4.24%, while the average three-year fixed rate has fallen from 5.61% to 4.74%.
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