Young adults in relationships rate buying a property together as a more significant emotional and financial commitment than marriage.
Recent research revealed Brits wait two years and two months on average before purchasing a house with a partner. This is slightly longer than the average wait for couples to tie the knot, which is two years and one month, even though the nation as a whole considers marriage a bigger commitment.
A study conducted by The Leadership Factor on behalf of property buyer Good Move surveyed 2,001 UK adults in relationships about what they rank the biggest commitments in relationships and what their views are on buying property with a partner.
The logistics of buying a house together can be complicated
Buying a house as a couple has always been considered a significant milestone, but it is especially so for young adults. Brits aged between 18 and 24 rank buying a house as a bigger commitment than getting married and those aged 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 rank them equally. Getting married has traditionally been viewed as the biggest commitment a couple could make. However, this study shows young people view buying a property together as a more significant commitment.
Ross Counsell, director at Good Move, stated: “Buying a house together is a huge decision for couples, not just because of the significant financial commitment, but if the relationship comes to an end, it can be incredibly complicated and stressful to deal with the logistics.
“With recent changes to divorce legislation making it easier to end marriages, buying a house is now understandably seen as the primary relationship milestone.”
Generation Rent continues to buck national trends
As fewer young people are getting married, young adults are changing what has been the norm. More young adults are renting for longer, and as Generation Rent gets older, renting is expected to remain a popular option. Renters in the UK are even forecast to outnumber homeowners by 2039. Nowadays, there is also less urgency for people to move out of rentals and onto the property ladder, and Generation Rent is leading rental demand across the nation.
High property prices in the UK have led many to remain tenants for longer. In some regions of the UK, it’s even cheaper to rent than buy in terms of monthly costs. With many young professionals preferring city centre living, renting has become a popular option, so they can live and work in the same area and have easy access to nearby leisure activities.
As young people view buying property as the biggest commitment, even more couples are likely to live in rentals together before purchasing property. According to Good Move’s survey, nearly one in five UK adults in relationships said they wouldn’t buy a home with their partner in case they break-up. This position is the most popular among the younger generations with 36% of 25 to 34-year-olds and 25% of those aged between 18 and 24. The fear of break-ups and the challenge of dividing assets are additional reasons to dissuade people from buying houses all together.
The director of Good Move commented: “It’s why so many Brits want to live with their partner first before committing to buying anywhere. Our research found that nearly two-thirds of Brits in relationships would only buy a property together if they’d trialled co-habiting first and that’s a really sensible way to approach the situation.”