Are we prioritising marriage over homeownership?

Warren Lewis
25th January 2018

New analysis from price comparison website MoneySuperMarket has revealed that 68% of Brits taking out a wedding loan don’t own a house - suggesting the nation is prioritising getting married over getting on the property ladder.

The figure shoots up to 76% for those in the 18-30 bracket and with 26 being the most popular age to take out a wedding loan, the data suggests that millennials in particular are prioritising marriage over mortgages.

The findings, based on over 125,000 wedding loan applications on the price comparison website, show that loved-up Londoners are the most likely to take out a wedding loan, and are the biggest spenders, borrowing £10,172 compared to the national average of £8,312.

The high proportion of non-homeowners taking out a wedding loan in London could be a reflection of the city’s staggering house prices. With an average house costing over £480,000 , Londoners have to fork out an astonishing 138 per cent of their annual salary for a house deposit, compared to just 32% of their income for a wedding loan.
The findings show it’s not just house prices that are on the up as wedding loans are also increasing year on year, rising from £7,946 in 2016 to £8,466 in 2017. Despite the rise in marriage loans, the majority of prospective homeowners in the UK still see mortgages eating up significantly more of their annual salary (68%) than weddings (31%).

For Scotland and the North East, where house prices are cheaper, tying the knot is actually more expensive than a mortgage, with it taking an average of four years to pay off a wedding loan - the equivalent of an average house deposit. Despite this, the North East has one of the lowest proportion of non-homeowners in the UK, at just 57%.

Sally Francis, money expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Both mortgages and wedding loans come with responsibility and commitment but it’s interesting to see that a significant number of us, particularly millennials, are prioritising marriage over buying a home because in reality doing both is often unaffordable.

Although Stamp Duty has recently been removed for first time buyers, which certainly helps, there’s a lot of speculation that mortgage rates will not be getting any cheaper. With staggering house prices showing no signs of going down and wedding loans also on the rise, it’s more important than ever to shop around and find the best quote when taking out a loan of any kind.”

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