But 26% of potential buyers surveyed at the end of 2012 believe that they can raise a deposit in three years or less. This is in stark comparison to the 69% who said they did this before the start of the credit crunch in 2008, says the BSA.
Since September 2010 raising a deposit has consistently been the biggest barrier to property ownership right across the spectrum of home buyers.
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.
Although deposits are plainly still an issue, access to mortgage finance has eased with less then half of the public, 45%, now saying that it is a barrier to property purchase. This is the lowest since the BSA started tracking consumer views on home purchase in 2008.
Looking ahead to 2013, amongst those planning to buy for the first time in the future, 23% said that they believed they would be living in a property that they owned by the end of the year, whereas 73% said they would still be renting or living with family or friends.
Since the credit crunch owner occupation has been falling in the UK, down from 14.7 million to 14.5 million households between 2007 and 2011. This is backed up by 2011 Census data released last week.