The affordability of housing is at its worst level for eight years, according to the latest findings from Cheltenham & Gloucester.
Average and first-time buyers are spending the same proportion of their wages on their mortgage repayments as they were in 1993.
But it also claims the future remains bright for homeowners as affordability is levelling out due to stable interest rates and earnings growth.
The lender's April affordability index looks at average buyers and first-time buyers and determines what percentage of take-home pay is needed to cover a mortgage on an average priced home. This percentage is expressed as the amount out of every £100 of take-home pay that is required to cover the mortgage and is based on seven geographical regions.
C&G managing director Roger Burden says: “Our index shows potentially only a very modest improvement will be gained over the next year to 18 months. The main reason for this is that although house prices will continue to rise, mortgage rates will remain low.
“But even at today's price levels, prospective housebuyers should remain encouraged. A house is a valuable asset and ownership is still an extremely attractive alternative to renting.”