Calls to give first-time buyers a stronger push on to the housing ladder have been made as a study found a high proportion of people are seeing deals fall through because they cannot get a mortgage.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that 38% of potential first-time buyers are trapped in the rental sector because they cannot raise a big enough deposit and meet the criteria to buy a home.
The Government recently launched its NewBuy initiative, which encourages lenders to offer mortgage deals to people with a deposit of less than 10% to those buying a new-build property in England.
But RICS said it should go further to help first-time buyers, by introducing a scheme for those buying second-hand properties, which it argued would free up some stagnant chains.
It said ministers should consider lending or guaranteeing first-time buyers a "reasonable deposit" in return for a stake in their home, which could give the Government and the taxpayer a return on their investment.
RICS said that while some similar schemes exist, they are too fragmented and lack the power to kick-start the market.
The call comes after a British Bankers' Association report said on Monday that mortgage approvals slumped to their lowest number in at least 15 years last month. Within these figures, mortgage approvals for house purchase reached their lowest numbers since January 2009 and were a fifth lower than a year ago.
Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said: "Many first-time buyers are facing the prospect of a property ladder with no rungs. With lenders requiring such hefty deposits and affordable mortgage deals out of reach for most, a generation of potential homeowners are facing an uphill struggle.
"Without allowing more first-time buyers to enter the market, chains will continue to stall and transaction levels will stagnate."
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