Britain is becoming a nation of "forever renters" as the lifetime cost of renting exceeds £50,000, driving home ownership out of reach for many.
The average first-time buyer will have already spent £52,900 on total rent, according to new figures from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
The cost of renting over a lifetime set to increase to £64,400 for those starting their rental journey this year, a rise of 22%.
Two fifths of tenants don’t think they will ever be able to afford a home
ARLA's research, compiled with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, calculates that the average first-time buyer in England will have spent 16.4% of their total lifetime earnings on rent for all the years they were a tenant.
Those buying a property for the first time this year in the North East will have spent £31,300 on rent – the lowest amount in England.
In London, the average amount is more than double that at £68,300.
The South East is the only other region where the total lifetime rent spent is above the English average, with a total cost of £55,900.
Last year, tenants spent 22% of their wages on rent, rising to 30% in London.
Those living in the East enjoyed the most affordable rents due to relatively high earnings in the region, at 18.9% of disposable income.
ARLA managing director David Cox said: “The rising cost of rent in this country is a huge issue, and is preventing tenants from being able to save to buy a home.
“Our Cost of Renting report reveals that tenants are already spending a significant proportion of their income on rent, and therefore struggling to save any money.
“However, as house price affordability worsens and interest rates start rising, more pressure will be put on renting with weekly rent likely to rise, so home ownership will remain out of reach for many.”