Last year almost 75% FTBs locked out of the property market. Around 20% and above was the level typically seen pre-credit crunch.
The only region in the UK above that level was London with 41.9% of potential first-time buyers able to purchase within 12 months.
More than half of potential first-time buyers expected to put down over £20,000 as a deposit for a property while the overall average deposit is around £22,000.
The average age of those expected to buy for the first time is younger than commonly reported at 32.
Research showed that nearly two thirds of intent first-time buyers thought that property prices in their local area were above what they would consider to be fair and reasonable.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “With prospective first-time buyers even thinner on the ground than at this stage last year, sellers and their estate agents operating at the lower end of the market will need to fully understand the DNA of this group if they are to capture a sale.
“Given the reality of the ongoing economic situation, many trapped renters are having their home-ownership dreams postponed to their forties at best, or permanently shattered at worst.”
Rightmove used a total of 12,898 responses from potential buyers between 3 October 2011 and 17 October 2011 in their research with data weighted using Census data available from the ONS to ensure results were representative of the UK.