Buying a home with a partner no longer seen as a long term commitment

Warren Lewis
14th September 2017
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According to a new report from L&C Mortgages, despite 5.1 million UK adults delaying starting a family or getting hitched in order to buy a home, fewer than 8% see owning a property with a partner as a greater example of a long term commitment.

People are making significant cutbacks across the board in order to buy a home with someone but they don’t consider it to be a binding vow.  Collectively, a fifth (20%) of people have moved in with parents, taken a second job or delayed starting a family or a wedding in order to save for a deposit.

Cutbacks to buy a property


Cut back on luxuries (e.g. holidays)


Cut back on household spending


Moved in with parents to save for the deposit


Took a second job


Delayed starting a family


Delayed a wedding / marriage


L&C looked into what people believe to be the biggest life commitment and can reveal that a third (33%) of UK adults believe that getting married to someone is the best example of a long-term commitment, while 21% believe being in a long-term relationship with someone is the best example.

Surprisingly, having children came in lower, with 18% stating this is the best example, but bricks and mortar don’t set commitment in stone.  Recent L&C research however found that 1.8 million UK adults admitted to staying in unhappy relationships just to get on the property ladder, so are things changing in terms of what’s seen as a major commitment?

Biggest life commitment


Getting married to someone


Being in a long-term relationship with someone


Having children with someone


Buying a home with someone


Working for the same employer for a long time


As house prices remain high and the ability to get on the property ladder seems a distant goal for a lot of people, it is no surprise that owning a home is seen as more of a commitment among 18 – 34 years olds than the older generation (12% vs 6% of over 55s).  Marriage falls down the list of commitments among the 18-34 years olds (25% vs 42% of over 55s) but still remains the most committed act for Brits on the whole.  
L&C also looked into who is making the biggest financial commitment when it comes to forking out a deposit. Almost one in ten (9%) of homeowners in a relationship said their partner or spouse paid the entire deposit vs 18% paying it fully themselves. When looking at the gender split of who puts up the cash for a home, a quarter of men (26%) paid all of the deposit for a home vs. one in ten women (10%).
David Hollingworth from L&C Mortgages said: “With high house prices, rising living costs and wage growth at a virtual standstill, buying property with a partner is perhaps no longer seen as a major long term commitment for people, as it seems like such a distant possibility.  Perhaps for some buying seems so far off in the future that it has fallen down their list of commitments.  
Our research shows that people are making cutbacks in order to buy a home. That extends beyond the reining back of household and luxury spending and is forcing some to hold back on major life changes such as starting a family or getting married.  
Buying with a partner will certainly be one of the biggest financial commitments you can make.  It’s therefore crucial to think clearly and plan, especially as home ownership is so entwined with the long term goals of marriage and raising a family.”

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