People who start renting their first home today will pay £64,400 to landlords before they buy their first property, according to the ARLA.
The Association of Residential Letting Agents say that's £11,500 more than a first-time buyer purchasing a house this year will have already spent.
The figures are based on average first-time buyers being 31 and people moving out of their family homes at 18.
It says two-fifths of renters don't think they will ever be able to buy.
"Rents are becoming alarmingly unaffordable due to the lack of available housing," says David Cox, the managing director of the ARLA.
"The north-south divide we're currently seeing in the UK is a clear illustration of this.
"The London rental market is competitive, with far more prospective tenants looking for properties than actual houses available.
"This is pushing up rents in the capital, which will continue to put pressure on surrounding areas as Londoners relocate to avoid high rent costs."
Newsbeat looked at housing in a special series of programmes in December and it wasn't just rising costs that were causing concern.
We were shown exclusive figures which suggested a third of renters aged 18-34 in the UK thought they were deliberately not told about a repair which needed doing, before they moved in.
Housing is an issue that provokes a strong reaction and we have had an interesting response to this latest research on Facebook.
James told us that in 15 months he spent £7,875.
"I was lucky to not have a rent increase after my initial six months. In Bristol the average rent was up by 18% last year.
"Adding up totals for the last three years, by myself, I have paid £12,550."
Luke spent £30,000 for the past six years in Northamptonshire.
Victoria seemed shocked by how much she had spent.
"We rented for five years and worked out we'd spent £35,000 on rent. We have bought now thankfully. No more throwing our money at someone else."
Sarah told us that she has just started renting and her bill came as a surprise.
"I'm just taking on a two-bed flat for £1,050 per month in Wokingham."
Some of you feel you are doing better though.
Gemma in Plymouth said that "we are very lucky and only pay £4,800 a year".