Britain will soon have a generation of “pensioner landlords”, experts have predicted after official figures showed a rising number of people believe buying property is the best way to save for retirement.

A major study of 20,000 households suggested a steadily increasing proportion of savers plan to use buy-to-let houses as a way of funding their old age.

Experts said many buyers in their forties or fifties planned to live off the rental income in later years.