New analysis from L&C Mortgages has revealed that 1.8 million UK adults have stayed in a relationship in order to get on the housing ladder.
According to the report, when looking at those planning to buy in the next five years, the number of those having stayed in a relationship purely to be able to afford a home is expected to rise to 7%. On top of this, over 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 on 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, if buying a property wasn’t in the equation. Two in five (40%) are currently still together after deciding to stay with their other half in order to buy a home, and one in seven (15%) stayed for up to two years longer than they wanted to.
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.”
When looking at non-homeowners between the ages of 18-34 years old, the number of people who would consider staying in a relationship to get onto the housing ladder goes up from one in ten (11%), to one in seven (15%), which is considerably higher than the 4% of their older counterparts aged 55 and over.
L&C’s research also reveals that two thirds (63%) of those planning to buy feel under pressure to get on the housing ladder, and that over a third of these (36%) feel under pressure to buy due to their partner. On top of this, almost one in five (17%) said that they feel pressure to buy with their partner but would rather not purchase a property at all.
David continued: “Our research highlights the pressure we put on ourselves to make the huge financial decision of buying a home, and more worryingly the pressure we can feel from our partners. It’s so important to think clearly when it comes to such a large financial leap, especially if you’re planning on staying in a relationship just to be able to afford a mortgage or deposit. Initially putting your feelings aside solves the problem of being able to get onto the housing ladder, but once the deposit has been paid and the mortgage agreed you may face issues down the line.”