Stay together for love? No, just to get on the housing ladder
Around 1.8 million UK adults have stayed in a relationship in order to get on the housing ladder, finds new research by L&C Mortgages. This is expected to rise to 7% of all UK adults planning to buy their own home over the next five years.
One in ten (11%) non-homeowners said they would be prepared to stay in an unhappy relationship if it allowed them to get a foothold in the property market. On average, nearly half (44%) of people who stayed with their partner to be able to afford the mortgage or deposit did so for more than a year longer than they would have done otherwise, and one in seven (15%) stayed for up to two years longer.
David Hollingworth from L&C Mortgages said: “The fact that so many people view staying in a relationship they perhaps don’t want to be in as one of their only options for getting onto the housing ladder is indicative of the struggle people face when buying their first home.
“With such large sums needed for deposits and combined salaries often the only option to achieve the required mortgage, the temptation to stay with a partner is understandable. In the UK, we place a great deal of importance on owning our own home, and of course buying property is one of the biggest financial moves you can make – but it isn’t right that people are sacrificing their emotional wellbeing in order to focus on financial stability. Taking professional mortgage advice will help ensure you are doing the right thing financially but you shouldn’t ignore your emotional wellbeing when making such a big commitment.”
The research also begs the question of what happens when the relationship falls apart. The Money Advice Service gives useful tips for partners needing to divide the family home after separation. The situation will depend on whether you are married and how you own your home.