Most young people who are putting cash aside to buy their own home end up taking around a third of their money back out of their savings to cover their living costs, a study has found.
People aged 18 to 30 are typically putting £150 away each month to buy their own home, but 62% said they are regularly forced to dip into this money, usually because they are struggling to pay their bills, website MyVoucherCodes found.
The typical amount taken out each month is £50, meaning that those who are having to plunder their mortgage funds are wiping around a third off the amounts they have saved.
The study follows research from Yorkshire Building Society earlier this month which found that raising a deposit is the biggest challenge faced by potential home-buyers, with 56% of them saying they are concerned about this.
The Yorkshire study estimated that a would-be home buyer who was putting away larger amounts of just under £250 a month could still need to save for around eight years to obtain the 20% deposit often demanded by lenders.
Inflation slowed to its lowest level for nearly three years in September, but increased food costs and a string of energy companies recently announcing price hikes, as well as soaring rents amid strong tenant demand, are set to place further pressure on people trying to save for their first home.
The MyVoucherCodes study found that 31% of 18 to 30-year-olds are saving up to take out a mortgage. More than half (55%) of those who said they were not said this was because they cannot afford to start saving up for a house at all.
The Government launched a scheme in August to kick-start lending to firms and households, which has already caused an increase in mortgage availability, although much of the strongest competition among lenders so far has been for those with larger deposits.
Recent research from comparison website Moneyfacts found that the number of mortgage products for people with a 40% deposit has rocketed by 2,167% compared with October 2007, with 476 of these mortgages available by the end of last week.
By comparison, the number of mortgages for people with a 10% deposit has plummeted by 67% compared with five years ago, with 292 mortgages on the market last week.