Attitudes to home ownership revealed

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One in four young singletons (25 per cent) feel it will be impossible to buy their own home without a partner, according to the new research from Post Office Money Mortgages.

Of home owning young couples (aged 18-34), 27 per cent feel they would have only have been able to buy a home together.

On average, half of young couples living together are renters, while half jointly own a home (45 & 44 per cent). A large number of couples are motivated by practical reasons when taking this step, with 22 per cent admitting they made their initial move in order to save money. Young couples (aged between 18 and 34) will spend four years together on average before deciding to buy a home.

With the average price of a starter home for a first time buyer (FTB) increasing by seven per cent (£12,785) over the last year to £183,385, the average earnings of a first time buyer (FTB) household in the UK is £50,000 – nearly double the average annual salary of a single person (£27,274). However, despite joining their finances in order to get into their first home, 34 per cent of young coupled homeowners admit they didn’t contribute equally and for some this eventually led to tension in the relationship (20 per cent).

Owen Woodley, Managing Director Post Office Money said: “It’s natural that once couples get serious they want to start building a life together, particularly when they see the potential of their shared income. However, saving towards the purchase of a home can be understandably daunting and the joint effort to reduce your shared cost of living and boost your savings can sometimes lead to friction in a relationship. In order to make the process less daunting, couples could benefit from marking their significant ‘savings milestones’ with fun, frugal celebrations.

“As a provider that works with a large number of first-time buyers, Post Office Money Mortgages knows that saving towards a deposit can be a stressful time. As such, we have introduced a new range of fee-free mortgages which only require a five per cent deposit, so the prospect of homeownership feels like a more achievable goal.”

Cost-cutting couples

Cohabiting couples looking to buy together have also taken other steps in order to save money as they try to get on the ladder, such as mostly socialising together rather than separately (38 per cent). One in five (19 per cent) have even given up on a personal ambition, such as travel plans or a new career, due to their joint financial situation. A fifth (22 per cent) of couples aspiring to buy admitted that they argued about their household budget as they put money away for their new home.

The Hotel of Mum and Dad

One in 20 young couples (six per cent) chooses to live with one of their parents. While 29 per cent felt the decreased rent relieved stress while they were saving they admitted the situation lacked privacy (31 per cent) and led to their parents scrutinizing their finances more (14 per cent).

For parents, even at the point where they do manage to finally empty their nest, 19 per cent of young homeowners will still rely on them to pay the majority of their deposit.