The average adult will spend more than £63,000 in rent before they reach the first rung of the property ladder, a poll claims.
Those who have bought their first home within the last five years previously paid an average of £625 every month in rent to their landlords.
And on average, they will be renting for almost eight-and-a-half years before they finally get onto the property ladder, spending a total of £63,225 in rent during that time.
This means they’ll have already spent the equivalent of more than a quarter of the average £229,000 property in the UK.
Tim Beale, chief executive officer for leading UK homebuilder Keepmoat Homes, which commissioned the research, said the findings were important but unsurprising.
“For many people, renting is an important first step towards home independence," she said.
“It offers benefits like flexibility, allowing you to test different areas and types of home, before you commit to buying somewhere.
“However, this research highlights the considerable cost of renting and therefore it isn’t surprising to see that for over half of people asked, they feel as if the goal of home ownership will never be possible.
“In reality home ownership can cost less than your rent.
The poll of 2,000 adults who have bought their first home in the last five years, or who are still renting, found three quarters believe it is "impossible" to save for a home while renting.
Of those who have bought a property, they spent almost five years saving before putting down an average deposit of £24,033 on their property – more than 80 per cent of the average adult’s salary.
However, four in 10 were able to lean on their parents for financial support when it came to their deposit, while a fifth relied on an inheritance.
A quarter even ended up moving back in with their parents to save on rent – and another 24 per cent considered it but were able to avoid it.
For respondents still renting, they think it will be at least another four years before they are in a position to think about buying their own home.
Support free-thinking journalism and subscribe to Independent Minds
Researchers also found 18 per cent of renters have taken on two jobs in a bid to save for a deposit while paying out monthly to a landlord.
One in four have forsaken holidays, and a third have cut back on luxuries like magazines, flowers in the home – and even their Netflix account.
Tim Beale, from Keepmoat Homes, added: “As the UK’s leading homebuilder for first time buyers, with 70 per cent of our customers falling into this category, we understand the challenge of saving for a deposit and also the options that are there to support potential home owners.
“From the government-backed Help to Buy scheme - which can help you save for a deposit; to shared ownership programmes that enable you to buy a percentage of your home, there is support available to people looking to get on to the property ladder.
“This research highlights the importance of these initiatives but also emphasises the challenge of raising awareness about them and that home ownership is not a pipe dream.”