Just over half of young adults live in a home they do not own and many are content to continue renting for the next decade or more.
Research from financial firm LV shows 52% of under 35s live in a rented home, while 42% or planning to rent for the next 10 years.
LV claims the research shows a ‘seismic shift’ in attitudes towards renting.
The firm says 93% of the previous generation of under 35s who were polled wanted to own their own home. This generation is now aged between 55 and 75 years old.
Seven out of 10 under 35s also considered the idea that not owning a home was shameful is outdated.
The study also reveals the average tenant pays 40% of their wages as rent and two thirds have no financial cover if they lose their job or fall sick and cannot pay their landlords.
With average rents costing £947 a month, says LV, and more than £1,100 in London and the South-East, renters really should consider taking out income protection insurance.
The research also looked at why young adults wanted to rent.
Nearly a fifth (17%) liked renting as they were not tied to living in one place and could move at will, while 13% considered renting a good way to get a feel for a neighbourhood before buying a home.
However, 10% do not want to buy a home and 7% would rather spend their cash rather than tie themselves down with the financial burden of a property.
Asked about the Help to Buy scheme heavily promoted by the government, most said they had heard of the scheme, but 79% said the financial assistance would not prompt them to buy a home.
Mark Jones, head of protection at LV, said: “Depending on your point of view an end to the British insistence on owning a home might come as a breath of fresh air.
“While previous research has suggested that young adults have had renting forced upon them by rising property prices and low mortgage availability, this report shows that huge numbers of young men and women are freely choosing tenancy and actually prefer it to ownership.”