People moving out of their first flat into a larger home are struggling to make the step up as falling property prices eat into their available equity.
So-called "second steppers" paid an average of £165,269 for a home, down 2.6% on last year but 70% more than they would have paid a decade ago.
The survey by Bank of Scotland also found that the average cost of a second home, once the equity transferred from the previous property is taken into account, is 4.3 times average earnings.
Although the figure has fallen slightly from last June's peak of 4.4 time average earnings, the bank said a lack of affordable second-stage homes was creating a bottleneck in the market.
Housing economist Nitesh Patel said: "It is clearly very concerning that the challenges facing those attempting to take their second step on the housing ladder in Scotland are the toughest for more than a generation.
"This follows the significant decline in house prices over recent years and the subsequent erosion of equity among those who bought for the first time at close to the peak of the market.
"The current problems facing second steppers have serious implications for the wider housing market, creating a bottleneck that significantly limits the number of homes available to first-time buyers, as well as stopping many homeowners who need to move, possibly for family reasons, from doing so."
First-time buyers are paying 15% less than in 2008 as a result of falling prices, with the average first home costing 3.4 times average earnings.
But the fall in values means second-time buyers have less equity to transfer into their new home. The average amount has shrunk to £8,100, which is six per cent of the £139,017 cost of a typical second home.
At the height of the property boom, in 2007, "second steppers" had built up the equivalent of 40% of the value of their new home.
Scotland is one of the most affordable areas of the UK for second-time buyers, according to the bank's report. Across the country the average second home costs 4.7 times average earnings, rising to 6.1 per cent in the south-east of England.