Around 60% of young people hope to have their own home in five years' time but fewer than half believe this is a reality, according to new research.
As most people in their early 20s still live with their parents, we asked young adults across Kent what is stopping them from getting on the property ladder.
"I have not thought about moving out because of how hard it is," explained Luke Eagle, who still lives in his childhood home in Northfleet after moving back in after university.
The 22-year-old is now the same age as his parents were when they were saving and thinking about buying their first house but says he has no intentions of following suit.
He said: "It was just massively easier for them. I have not thought about moving out. I have not had much money to save for a deposit and renting is just throwing money away.
"It is a lot less common these days and mum and dad started working at 16. They were at a different stage of their lives.
"They had a few years to save up and to think about settling down whereas at our age now you have to stay in school until you are 18. You do not really have an opportunity to start saving.
"It is definitely harder. It is just facts, we all know that is the case."
His parents Kevin and Emma Eagle bought their first home in Bradenham Avenue, Welling, when they were 26-years-old for £93,000 and put down a deposit of £8,000.
The two-bed, semi-detached would now cost roughly £376,000 according to Rightmove and Zoopla - a 304% increase since 1998.
According to National Statistics from June 2022, the UK average house price was £286,000, which is £20,000 higher than the same time last year. In England, this has increased to £305,000.
Talking about how things have changed, Kevin, 49, said: "The deposit was not killing you as it does now. You can save up but getting more than that is going to be very, very difficult.
"I think the issue is price value of a house has gone up a lot quicker than your salary has plus the cost of living. it is not easy for those starting out on their own."
Operations manager Emma, 49, added: "It was just massively easier, especially for first time buyers. We went straight to work at 16. Now, you have to stay in education for another two years and then a lot of people go off to university which puts your saving behind by five years.
"If you got to university like Luke did, you have the experience where you moved out but most move back in with their parents while looking for jobs."
And the Eagles' living situation is not unique. Lucy Streatfield, 22, has lived with her parents in their Swanscombe home since graduating from university earlier this year and does not know when she will be able to move out.
She said: "Coming out of university, even with my degree, I knew I would struggle to find a job that would pay enough. I had to adjust my expectations for moving out. It will probably take me a year or two to save up enough to rent a flat comfortably, so owning a house is like a dream for the future.
"It is actually disheartening to know I have to put my plans on hold because it is not financially achievable. After having independence at university and renting somewhere last year, having to come home and live with my parents indefinitely is difficult.
"Of course it has its positives, because I can have meals cooked for me and lifts to work, but I do not have personal space and I have lost that independence."
Her parents bought their first home, at 34 Armstrong Close in Dagenham, for £80,000 in 1999 when her dad was 23 and her mum was 26, and they had Lucy in March the following year.
The two-bed terraced house would now cost roughly £397,000 according to Zoopla – a 358% increase since her parents bought the house.
Lucy said: "At this age, my dad had a house, a stable job and even had me soon after. I will not even be 26 with a flat. It really is mad.
"He had only just become a newly qualified teacher and gotten his first teaching job. He was at the start of his now 23-year career, and he and my mum were able to buy a house.
"Even renting is too expensive right now, let alone the cost of living and things like insurance, energy, food, and maintenance.
"It is difficult to consider owning a house, even with financial help because putting me through university was such a cost to my parents. Even the bank of mum and dad cannot help us out these days."
Nicola Shelley, 22, is in a similar situation. She has been living with her parents in their Bexley home since finishing university last year.
Nicola's parents bought their first house in Downbank Avenue, Belvedere, Bexleyheath, in April 1989 for £53,000 with their own savings.
At the time, her mum, an assistant accountant, was 22 and her dad, a graphic designer, was 23. The couple both lived with their parents beforehand, then moved straight out into their own home.
Nicola has been working in the marketing team of a charity in London for more than a year. She said: "I expect to live at home for a couple more months at least. I was hoping to move out to rent with friends in January but with the cost of living crisis at the moment we might wait a bit longer to save money.
"I think I will have to wait at least a couple more years, but maybe even 10, before I can buy my own house. My partner and I are both saving but we think it will be easier financially to rent for a little while before moving into the house we plan to settle in.
"I think it is worse now because there is an increase in prices across the board – houses, bills, maintenance – but our wages have not increased dramatically to match this. So we are struggling to find the money to be able to afford buying a house, and mortgages can be hard to get.
"I worry about money a lot. I feel like I have to save a lot of my income and sometimes I think I limit what I do in order to ensure I save enough that month."
KentOnline reporter James Pallant has seen similar issues while trying to find somewhere decent to rent in Canterbury that is within budget.
To find out more about the housing crisis Kent's young people are facing, we spoke to estate agent Chris Fox, CEO of Fox Estates in Dartford, who said the property market is changing.
"Younger people need more time to save up for a deposit and the amount wanted is rising," he explained. "I bought my first property when I was 22.
"When I bought the mortgage deal was two and a half times your annual salary but now it has gone up to around seven times. It is much harder.
"I have read that experts think prices will drop by 7% over the next two years but they are still up 11% to what they were last year. The price of property is just going up.
"It is all to do with money and jobs. There are now zero hour contracts which makes it hard to budget let alone buy a house. It is really heard for people to get on the property ladder."
Research by Metropolitan Thames Valley - who provide affordable housing for people in the South East - found affordability is the biggest barrier to owning a home for young people.
The report from February 2022 added 60% of young people hope to own their own home in 5 years’ time, but fewer than half think they will do so.
In terms of those still living at home with their families, 55% said they are because they cannot afford to move out, similar to Luke's situation.
Despite the housing crisis, he is still optimistic. Luke added: "I think that first step on the ladder will be a tough one but I am confident I will get there one day but I do not know when that will be.
"I have started thinking about my credit score and am taking steps to get a better one for when the time comes to get a mortgage."
Additional reporting by Amy Tregenna.