Two-thirds of people aged 20 to 45 who have been able to buy a home since 2012 got financial help from their families, a Halifax study found.
The online survey of more than 9000 people also found 60% of those currently renting expect help from parents to buy a home.
However, 38% of parents who had given support to their children to buy a property are concerned about their own financial future as a result.
The survey was published as new figures indicate the Scottish property market is showing further signs of growth.
Registers of Scotland said last week that more than 17,800 properties changed hands between January and March - the highest fourth-quarter figure since 2007/08. Prices were up by an average of 3.5% over the year, with the average property selling for £153,352.
East Dunbartonshire recorded the highest average property price of £219,731, a rise of 4.6%.
Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: "For many buyers, parental support is now the fundamental first step onto the property ladder.
"For parents whose children are looking to buy, and for those first-time buyers now wanting to own, real consideration needs to be given to set realistic time-scales and ways in which this can be achieved without either party being overstretched of facing longer-term financial difficulty as a result."
The survey found 92% of parents think it is "hard or impossible" for first-time buyers to get a mortgage.
One-quarter of parents said children had moved back in with them as a result of not being able to buy their own property.
After helping a child to buy a property, 92% of parents would not anticipate their children to help them financially in return.
Nearly 60% of parents of those aged 20 to 45 have already done, or would expect to do, something to help their children onto the property ladder.
The survey concluded: "These kinds of sacrifices can have real impact on the financial futures of the parents.
"Of those whose children have bought a home, 27% dipped into their savings and 10% gave their child an early inheritance to help them get on the ladder, with a third of those parents that have helped their children either concerned or very concerned that it may affect their financial future in later life or retirement."