Two-thirds (66%) of Britain’s renting population aspire to own their own home, according to Vida Homeloans.

However, the research also found that 19% of these renters are now finding it harder than before to purchase a property because of COVID-19; this includes 20% of renting key workers, who are now having to reconsider their plans to buy.

Furthermore, 28% of those renters who have had to push back their plans to buy say that the virus has caused a fall in their income, while 27% have had to dip into funds that could have been used to help them buy a home.

Majority of FTBs struggling to raise deposits

In addition, 29% outlined that stricter lending requirements had made it harder to find a mortgage.

Vida Homeloans also pointed to ONS data, which showed that house prices have increased by £11,000 since 2019, with the average property price now £245,000.

A fifth (18%) of renters said that even before the crisis they struggled to find a lender that was willing to give them a mortgage.

Two in every five (40%) said that the biggest barrier to owning a home is being able to save a large enough deposit.

Anth Mooney, chief executive of Vida Homeloans, said: “Generation Rent has been hit hard by the pandemic.

“While some younger buyers are lucky enough to get help from the Bank of Mum and Dad, millions of individuals underserved by the mortgage market are stuck in a cycle of renting. Finances have been hit by furlough and/or sudden loss of income or job security.

“This is not a problem which just affects young people. From the over-55s who have always aspired to own their own home to the key workers – the nurses, the social workers and the supermarket delivery drivers that are putting themselves at risk to keep us safe during this pandemic – Generation Rent spans all of the ages.

“At Vida, we think that those people who want to buy should have a fair opportunity to find a safe place to call a home of their own.”

Andrew Montlake, managing director of Coreco Mortgage Brokers, added: “Generation Rent from Vida is a great piece of research which really brings home the issues that many prospective homeowners now face when trying to get onto the property ladder in the current climate.

“It is challenging at the best of times to purchase a home with house prices having risen, fuelled by pent-up demand and the Stamp Duty holiday, whilst higher rents and increases in the cost of living make saving for a deposit trickier.

“The concern is that the gap between the haves, those that are lucky enough to have larger savings pots or assistance from parents and family, and the have-nots is getting wider and wider.

“We need a concerted effort from government, the housing industry and the mortgage market to ensure that we do not have a lost generation of prospective homeowners.”