Couples encouraged to assess financial and lifestyle compatibility before committing to property purchase

The poll of 1,000 adults in unwedded relationships found 64 per cent would prioritise getting on the property ladder over walking down the aisle.
-Credit: (Image: © SWNS)

The research has revealed that three-quarters of people now view homeownership as a more significant commitment than marriage. The study delves into financial compatibility, long-term planning perspectives, and lifestyle choices before determining if individuals are prepared to make such a commitment.

Skipton Building Society conducted the test and research in collaboration with TV presenter and property expert Tayo Oguntonade. He shared: "From personal experience of buying a property with my now-wife before we were married and spending years as a mortgage broker, one of my top tips for couples buying together would be to be as financially transparent as possible."

"Having a clear understanding of each other's views on savings, debt, credit scores, and more is a great foundation when buying together. This is because when you take out a mortgage together you become financially linked. So, considering how this shared financial responsibility will affect both of you moving forward is very important."

The survey, which polled 1,000 adults in unwedded relationships, also discovered that 64 per cent would prioritise climbing the property ladder over tying the knot. Almost six out of ten (57 per cent) favour the financial stability offered by property ownership, while 43 per cent believe it offers 'better value for money' compared to getting married. Over half (55 per cent) even suggested that exiting a mortgage agreement would be a more complicated legal process than filing for divorce.

However, before purchasing a home, 82 per cent of respondents said it's crucial to have lived together as a couple, with 87 per cent agreeing that you truly get to know your partner once you've cohabited. On average, those surveyed believe couples need two and a half years of living together before they are ready to progress their relationship further.

The biggest indicator that couples are ready to move from renting to owning is when the relationship feels stable, according to 69 per cent of respondents. Meanwhile, 63 per cent believe couples should start the process of buying a home when both partners have a steady income. Having shared values on where to live is also an important sign for 45 per cent of respondents.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, found that these unmarried couples estimate they would need to save £27,000 for a deposit to buy a property. However, they predict they would need around £17,000 to get married. Despite this, 59 per cent believe they would struggle to afford both a wedding and a house deposit.

Lovebirds are being urged to take ‘couples compatibility test’ before deciding if now is the right time to buy a property together.
Lovebirds are being urged to take ‘couples compatibility test’ before deciding if now is the right time to buy a property together. -Credit:Getty Images

Umera Patel from Skipton Building Society commented: "Embarking on the journey of buying your first home together is an exciting adventure and massive chapter in any relationship. However, it is important to understand the process and ensure you have a clear plan to ensure this experience doesn't become daunting, and instead enjoy the process of moving in with your significant other."

"My top tips for those couples looking to start the process of owning a home together would be to take the time to understand what your shared priorities are now and in the future, this will help you establish what you want from a property and in turn work out a budget. If you don't have a Lifetime ISA, consider opening one this will really help you focus on saving up for your first home."

Tayo Oguntonade's top tips for couples hoping to buy:

  1. Speak to a mortgage professional - there are so many reasons why this is a good idea. One of my favourite reasons is that it's free. There aren't many professionals in the UK who will assess your financial situation, help you build a plan and give you financial clarity without earning a penny. This is a great place to start and will also help you gage how much you could borrow.

  2. Systemise your savings saving your money consistently is key to reaching your goal. Set a realistic amount that you can put away each month any lump sum will be a bonus. Also, if it suits your needs, consider a Lifetime ISA to benefit from a government bonus on top of the interest you earn.

  3. Determine where you want to live this can help you narrow your search, making the process simpler for you. It will also give you an idea of how much you could afford to borrow, which is an important first step. ".