A staggering 70 per cent of potential first-time buyers looking to buy in the next year or two have decided to delay their purchases as rising living costs hit their ability to save, according to a survey.
Nearly nine in 10 said their ability to save for a deposit has been affected by the rising cost of living, Nationwide Building Society found.
People were most likely to say this in Wales and Northern Ireland (98 per cent in both parts of the UK) and in Scotland (93 per cent).
The area where people were least likely to say this was London, but the figure there was still 82 per cent.
Of the main problems noted by people about buying a home in the area where they live, nearly three in five (57 per cent) said it was high house prices, while 43% said rents were too high to be able to save.
Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) said their area had a competitive housing market, while the same amount (24 per cent) cited a lack of homes on the market.
Around seven in 10 (69 per cent) said they would be willing to relocate to another part of the UK to get more for their money.
Nearly half (47 per cent) are reducing their everyday spending and 43% are cutting back on going out or eating out.
Paul Archer, senior mortgage manager at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Building a deposit remains the single biggest barrier to homeownership today, with many people starting out facing a long uphill battle to save. The rising cost of living has made this even harder.”
More than 2,000 prospective first-time buyers were surveyed.