Nearly a third of first-time buyers now spend more than half a decade saving for their first home, new figures have shown.
A report by Which? Mortgage Advisers showed 30 per cent of first-time buyers had spent five years saving for a house, with seven per cent saying they had saved for a property for more than 10 years.
Almost a third of respondents to the survey said their parents had contributed to their first deposit, with eight per cent saying other family members had helped.
In the capital, close to 40 per cent of respondents said their parents had helped out.
The news comes days after figures from Your Move showed house prices grew at their fastest pace in 12 months in February, with the average UK price falling just shy of £300,000.
However, house price growth in the capital has been rather calmer: figures by Hometrack have showed prices in some of the capital's most upmarket areas dropped in the year to January, with prices in Kensington and Chelsea falling as much as 3.1 per cent.
However, mortgage figures published yesterday showed first-time buyers borrowed £3.6bn in January, up seven per cent on the year before.
“Our research reveals the real difficulty that first time buyers have in saving enough money for a deposit," said David Blake, principal mortgage adviser at Which? Mortgage Advisers, today.
“Given how hard it can be to get onto the property ladder, ensuring you have the right mortgage could not be more important. Seeking independent mortgage advice early on is vital in order to know what options are open to you.”