Buying property or getting married: which is the bigger commitment?


Buying property or getting married: which is the bigger commitment?

30 November 2012MeetMyAgent

According to research by Halifax, 28% of 25-34 year olds believe that buying a property together is a bigger commitment than marriage.

The figures showed that around one in four 25-34 year olds were married when purchasing their first home with a significant other, in comparison to almost three quarters of 35-44 year olds.

This is certainly a sign of changing times, with people getting married later in life and many now seing the financial responsibility of buying property as a greater commitment than marriage.

The financial impact of buying property

The proportion of income spent towards a mortgage is likely to be a key factor to this change in mindset, with 6% of those surveyed paying more than half of their average income each month.

The wage gap between men and women was highlighted, with the research showing over 1 in 10 women paying more than half their income towards their mortgage. This compares to just 1 in 20 men paying the same proportion of their income.

Age also played a key factor in the proportion of income spent on a mortgage, with nearly 1 in 6 sole homeowners in the 25-34 year old bracket paying this amount.

Paying down a mortgage

Interestingly, 25% of 18-24 year olds who had bought property owned it outright – a higher proportion than any other age bracket – and sounds like the bank of mum and dad is helping a new generation solidify their position on the property ladder early.

While more than a quarter of those surveyed claim to know exactly how much they still owe on their mortgage, 9% could not estimate this even to the nearest £10,000.

Perhaps, like rent, many are simply resigned to the fact that a substantial amount of their income will go towards their housing costs, or they simply intend to sell once their property value increases.

Mortgage availability perceived to be an issue

With the caution of lenders in the current market, higher deposit requirements and a still fragile economy, 80% thought they’d find it harder to get a mortgage if they were purchasing their first home now.

Of those earning between £14,001 and £21,000, 92% felt this way. While this was to be somewhat expected, the real shock is that 75% of those with earnings over £55,001 had similar concerns.

With the levels of deposits needed to obtain a mortgage increased – due in part to rising house prices as well as lender requirements – and eclipsing the cost of a wedding, it is little surprise that nearly a third asked thought that purchasing a property together is a bigger commitment than getting married.