Help to Buy first-time buyers guide
First-time buyers are hindered by high deposits and house prices Getty

Nearly four in ten first-time buyers say they are finding it "extremely difficult" to step onto the property ladder, according to the Aldermore First-Time Buyer Index.

The poll by YouGov, on behalf of the mortgage lender Aldermore, found 95% of first-time buyers said they are finding it difficult to buy a home — and 39% said it is extremely difficult. Raising a big enough deposit and high house prices were the two biggest obstacles for first-time buyers.

But the EU referendum, in which the country voted for a Brexit, appears to have had little impact on first-time buyer confidence. Of those polled, 7% said they planned to buy their first home within 12 months, the same level as prior to the referendum.

"Our research, conducted both immediately before the EU referendum and after the initial period of uncertainty following the Brexit vote, shows that first-time buyers' mind-set remains almost entirely unchanged on their plans to purchase their first property," said Charles Haresnape, group managing director for mortgages at Aldermore.

"First-time buyers are the driving force of the property market, and the levels of confidence and economic outlook have large-scale ramifications further up the housing chain.

"Tracking the changing attitudes of those looking to buy their first property is an important part in assessing how the market can be adapted to work in the best interests of all those looking to make their dream of owning their own home a reality."

The government has a number of schemes in place to support first-time buyers by reducing the cost of mortgage credit, such as Help to Buy and shared ownership.