A third of homeowners expected to be further along the housing ladder than they are now. according to a new survey.
And more than half of homeowners believe the current conditions in the housing market are having an impact on their aspirations, according to the latest research from Lloyds TSB.
The house that the majority of homeowners in the UK hope to make their long term home might seem modest enough - a three bedroom detached property is what 40 per cent of us yearn for.
Others set their sights on a garden (64 per cent) and a garage (38 per cent). However, one in five homeowners, admit they anticipate having to reassess their expectations as they move up the housing ladder.
One in five first-time buyers believe they will not be in their dream home until they are 36-45 years old.
A further one in 10 think they will have to wait until they are between 46-55 years old.
Those already on the second rung of the ladder are not much more optimistic, with one in five believing they will be in their dream home sometime between the ages of 36-55, but a staggering 24 per cent think that they will have to wait until they are at least 56 until they reach their long-term home.
Over half of homeowners (53 per cent) agree that the current condition of the housing market may have an impact on them reaching their dream home, whilst over a third (36 per cent) think the wider economic environment may have an impact and a similar amount (34 per cent) are worried that their own financial situation will create a barrier.
This is reflected in official data, which demonstrates that house sales in England and Wales have nearly halved in recent years, averaging 636,000 a year during 2008-2011 compared with an average of 1,168,000 during the preceding 10 years This suggests that people are staying in their existing home for nearly twice as long as before the downturn began.
In addition, the proportion of homes that are owner-occupied in Great Britain has fallen from a peak of 70 per cent in 2002 to 65 per cent in 2011, and has been in continuous decline since 2005.
These developments affect and reflect people’s ability to both get on the housing ladder and to move up the rungs.
Stephen Noakes of Lloyds TSB said: “With activity in the housing market still subdued, many current homeowners are not seeing the improvements in the value of their property that so often provides them with the equity to take that next step on their ladder.
“Despite having relatively modest dreams of what we expect our long-term home to be, it is not surprising that so many homeowners, and particularly those on the early steps of the ladder, feel that they will have to put the hope of securing their ideal home back a few years.”