New research which shows more than 50 per cent of renters now believe they will never be able to buy their own homes, may suggest a shift in attitudes towards renting and ownership.

A survey of 2,000 tenants, by property investment consultancy Knight Knox, also found that only 23 per cent are currently saving for a deposit.

The data suggests an acceptance among many privately renting tenants that owning a home will remain unattainable in the face of rocketing property prices and stagnating wages.

Andy Phillips, commercial director at Knight Knox, said: “Many people currently renting have come to terms with the idea that they’ll never own a home and now accept renting as a viable option in the long-term.

“We’ve grown up in this country with the notion that you must settle down and buy a house but, due to numerous factors, that’s not as much of a reality as it once was and we’re starting to see the stigma traditionally attached to renting dissolve.”

He believes the falling numbers of people saving for a deposit could mean a shift towards a “property landscape” dominated by the private rented sector - akin to models found in continental Europe.

The survey also found that 61 per cent of tenants polled were content to rent, because it either suited their lifestyle, or they didn’t want to be tied to one property or a lengthy mortgage contract.

Mr Philips added: “The traditional model of homeownership doesn’t suit everyone’s lifestyle and whether it’s the best way forward is being called into question.

He said the private rented sector is ‘increasingly being seen as an essential solution to the lack of housing available.’

Rented homes are expected to pass the seven million mark in the UK by 2025, he added.