More than 1.6 million people aged between 20 and 40 are living with their parents because they cannot afford to rent or buy their own home, a report revealed on Saturday.

Almost half of parents (41%) do not believe their children will ever be able to afford to get on the housing ladder, even if they work hard and save, the survey, by YouGov for housing charity Shelter, found.

Those living with their parents also find it harder to live a normal adult life, with almost two thirds (59%) saying that developing new relationships is harder because of their living situation.

Nearly half of parents (44%) are also concerned that living at home is holding their children back from living an independent, adult life.

And over a third (35%) of adults living at home said they felt embarrassed to admit they have moved back in with their parents, while nearly a quarter (24%) said their relationship with their parents had deteriorated as a result of living at the family home.

Life changes for the one in six (17%) of adults who said they have had their adult children living at home, the survey found.

Over two thirds (39%) said they still have to do a big family food shop and nearly one in five (19%) said the cost of having their children living with them meant they had less to spend on holidays.

But almost the same proportion (18%) said financial contributions from their children brought household costs down, the survey of 5,379 adults showed.

Over one in 10 (12%) adults said it put a strain on their relationship with their children, with the same proportion saying their relationship with their partner was strained as a result.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "These figures paint a vivid picture of 20- and 30-somethings in arrested development, with our housing crisis putting the brakes on their aspirations for the future.

"Our chronic lack of homes that young people can genuinely afford to rent or buy is at the root of the problem.

"There's no doubt that young people are grateful to be able to live with mum and dad to save money. But we have to question whether it's acceptable that this is becoming the norm for people to live at home into their mid-030s, when we know that they are desperate to be independent and make their own way in the world.

"As rents soar and deposits become even further out of reach, the Government needs to look seriously at how it can meet these young people halfway, and make housing more affordable so that this generation and the next can get on in life."