More than 8m renters don’t think they’ll ever be able to afford their own home, a new report has claimed.

Four in 10 renters – that’s around 8.5m people – expect to be renting forever, while a further 2.5m people say they don’t ever want to buy a property.

The report by Post Office Money, based on interviews with more than 2,000 UK adults, found that aspiring first-time buyers expect to be 34 by the time they can afford to get on the property ladder.

High house prices and concerns about the cost of living have left many assuming that owning their own property is a distant dream

John Willcock, head of mortgages, Post Office Money
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That number was 38 in 2013, though, so there is some hope for those hoping to buy their first home. The number of renters thinking they’ll never be able to buy has also decreased from 45% in 2015.

Finding a deposit is the biggest barrier to home ownership with 30% of current renters saying they won’t be able to afford one unless circumstances change.

Homeowners think it will take eight years to save enough money for a deposit. Image by wong yu liang/Shutterstock.com

The cost of mortgage repayments is stopping 16% of renters buying, 13% are currently saving for a deposit, 11% don’t want to own a home and 6% say they like the freedom of being able to move at short notice.

On average, prospective homeowners reckon it will take them eight years to save enough money for a deposit. Around 7m renters (33%) expect to be saving for more than a decade.

John Willcock, head of mortgages at Post Office Money, said: “High house prices and concerns about the cost of living have left many assuming that owning their own property is a distant dream rather than an achievable goal.

“The news that the Help to Buy ISA cannot be used for an initial deposit will be a huge blow for savers and will push the goal of homeownership further out of reach.

“We hope government initiatives like the Lifetime ISA will offer more of a helping hand to struggling savers.”

The introduction of the Lifetime ISA – a £4,000 ISA that gives savers a 25% government bonus for every pound they save – was announced by former chancellor George Osborne during his final budget in March.

Cash put into the account can be used to buy a first home or can be saved until you’re over 60 and used as retirement income.

According to Post Office Money, only 29% of prospective buyers think they’ll be able to save the full deposit amount on their own. 23% say they’ll get help from their partner and 17% will be relying on money from an inheritance.

12% will be depending on the good old ‘bank of mum and dad’ to help them out.

Mr Willcock said more needs to be done to boost the confidence of first-time buyers. “Hopefully the recent interest rate cut will be reassuring for those looking for their first home.”