One in five working 20 to 34-year-olds in England has moved back in with their parents or grandparents in the last year, having previously lived independently, according to research by Shelter into the plight of the "clipped wing" generation.
The charity found that 20% of working people in this age group had moved back in with their family at some point in the last 12 months, having previously flown the nest.
In total, Shelter found that almost four in 10 (39%) young adults were either still living at home with their family or have done so in the past 12 months.
More than half (56%) of these "clipped-wing kids" said high housing costs were preventing them from leaving the family home, Shelter said.
Nearly two-thirds (62%) of those living in the family home said they were worried that this stopped them from living an independent life.
The charity highlighted the case of Neil, a 34-year-old trainee teacher who lives with his parents because he cannot afford to rent.
Neil said: "Of course I'm grateful that I have the option to live with my parents, but it can be difficult still being under their roof in your thirties when you should be independent. If you're young and working hard, having somewhere to call home shouldn't be a luxury - it should be within reach."
Recent research by Post Office Money Mortgages found that 45% of renters do not believe they will ever be able to afford to buy their own home.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "When getting even a toe on the housing ladder is completely out of reach and private rents are sky-high, it's no wonder so many working young adults are having to move back into their childhood bedroom.
He continued: "The upcoming spending review is the Government's last chance to prove they can give back hope to a generation who are being left behind, by investing in the genuinely affordable homes they desperately need."
More than 4,000 adults took part in the research, of which analysis was carried out on 527 20 to 34-year-olds in England who are in employment.