One thing has been relatively clear in Britain's housing market in recent years - prospective first-time buyers have struggled to get on the property ladder while landlords have benefited from the growing demand for tenancies among the population.

And with purchasing a home unlikely to become any more affordable in the near future - coupled with the increasing emphasis on responsible lending practices - one expert believes that ownership levels will not embark upon any sharp upwards trajectory in the next five years.

"Desire to buy is not a prerequisite for home ownership as not everyone can get a mortgage currently, at least not at an attractive rate," said Timothy Lambert, head of investment property at Parallel Investment Management.

"A five year period is a very long time with the current economic uncertainty. I believe the desire is still there to own, but people are wary of prices.

"[Owner] numbers will increase over the next five years, but not substantially."

Considering the difficulties Britons face when trying to secure the finances necessary to buy a home, it seems that increasing numbers may have to look to the private rental sector for accommodation.

Indeed, with the Centre for Economic and Business Research revealing that prices in London are being boosted by their popularity among buy-to-let investors, it could be the lettings market that benefits the most in the coming years as landlords look to expand their portfolios.

As the private rental sector enjoys a relative boom compared to what looks like a stagnant buying industry, there are also said to be growing numbers of first-time landlords looking to take advantage of the situation.

While there are impressive yields to be made through letting, proper management of properties and effective landlord insurance cover cover are just two factors that prospective investors will need to take into account as they prepare their assets for tenants.