First-time Buyer 

Brits delay marriage and family to get on housing ladder

Brits delay marriage and family to get on housing ladder

An estimated 5m Brits are putting marriage and family life on the backburner in order to get on the housing ladder, according to research from London and Country.

A survey commissioned by the broker revealed 4 per cent of respondents had delayed tying the knot and 7 per cent had postponed starting a family so they could save up for a property.

But when asked to name the biggest life commitment, just 8 per cent said it was buying a home with someone, while 33 per cent said marriage.

The research adds to mounting evidence of the challenge faced by first-time buyers, who now face putting together an average deposit of £94,088 in London and £40,931 in the rest of the country, according to government data.

It also showed evidence of a generation gap in the attitudes of respondents, with 12 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds naming owning a home as the biggest life commitment compared to 6 per cent of over 55s.

Fewer 18 to 34-year-olds cited marriage as the biggest commitment – 25 per cent, compared to 42 per cent of over-55s – but it remained top of the list for Brits as a whole.

The research was based on a survey of 2,003 people between 4 July and 7 July by Opinium Research.

Previous research by London and Country suggested 1.8m UK adults had stayed in unhappy relationships just to get on the property ladder.

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.”

Cutbacks made to buy a property

Cut back on luxuries (e.g. holidays)22%
Cut back on household spending17%
Moved in with parents to save for the deposit7%
Took a second job7%
Delayed starting a family7%
Delayed a wedding / marriage4%

simon.allin@ft.com

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