In the 19th edition of the Building Society Association’s Property Tracker, out today, a further 26 per cent thought they could raise a deposit in three years or less.
But when the BSA asked wannabe first-time buyers the same question at the start of the credit crunch in 2008 over two-thirds of those surveyed at the time said that raising a deposit in three years was not a problem.
Since September 2010 raising a deposit has consistently been the biggest barrier to property ownership right across the spectrum of homebuyers.
Looking ahead to 2013, nearly a third of first-time buyers are pessimistic about their chances, believing that things will only get harder next year.
Most are reliant solely on their own savings, rather than the bank of mum and dad, to raise a deposit.
Below inflation wage rises, higher rents and the increasing cost of living are all making saving harder.
The BSA’s head of mortgage policy Paul Broadhead says that the gloomy outlook of potential buyers was a sign of both borrowers and lenders adapting to a new economic environment.
But despite the pessimism of some wannabe buyers he adds that it’s a complete myth that no first-time buyers are getting their feet onto the housing ladder, with mutuals helping 22,000 first-time buyers between January and October this year
He says: “Looking ahead to 2013, there is no doubt that sensible creativity will be required from all of those involved in the mortgage market.
“There is potential to grow and develop alternative forms of tenure for the future, although simplicity and transparency for the consumer must be at the core of any such developments.
“In addition, it would be helpful if government and regulators could decide their priority between the ‘lend and lend now’ rhetoric and the demands to grow capital – lenders can’t do both.”