Young adults born in the mid-1990s are around half as likely to be on the property ladder as those born in the mid-1970s were when they were in their early 20s, according to analysis.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said just 11% of people born in 1996 are home-owners, compared with 21% of those born in 1976 who owned their own home by the age of 22.
Its findings were based on Office for National Statistics (ONS) UK figures.
The LGA’s Understanding The Local Housing Market report warned that many young people face renting into retirement, as the high cost of the private rental sector is preventing households from being able to save for a deposit.
It said figures have shown that households privately renting in England spend around a third (33%) of their income on rent, while home-owners spend 17% of their income on mortgage repayments.
In some parts of London, rents equate to more than half of household earnings, the LGA said.
Ahead of the LGA’s annual conference in Bournemouth next week, council leaders are calling for more powers to build new social rented homes.
The LGA is calling on the Government to devolve the Right to Buy scheme so to help councils invest in more homes locally.
LGA housing spokesman Martin Tett said: “Home ownership remains a distant dream for most young people, with the high cost of the private rental sector meaning many are unable to save for a deposit to get on to the property ladder and face the prospect of being stuck renting into retirement.”
The Government unveiled fresh efforts to boost housing in England this week.
All new-build houses in England will be sold on a freehold basis unless there are exceptional circumstances – ending the unscrupulous practice of unnecessary leaseholds, ministers announced.
And it was also suggested that tenants in the private rental sector may be able to “passport” their existing deposit between landlords when moving from one property to the next – rather than needing to raise a second sum of cash.
Lindsay Judge, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “While home ownership has finally started to rise in recent years, young families are still far less likely to own by their early 30s than their parents were. The barriers to home ownership remain significant.
“As well as building more homes in high-demand areas, we also need more housing security for the record number of families living in private rented accommodation.”