Marriage before mortgage: Why the UK is putting getting married ahead of buying a house
Life can get pretty expensive these days, especially when you’re thinking about starting a family or getting a place of your own. For many, it’s a question of saving for years until you can afford to take on one of life’s big milestones. But which milestone do you tackle first?
New analysis from leading price comparison website MoneySuperMarket has revealed that 68% of Brits taking out a wedding loan don’t own a house – suggesting the nation is prioritising getting married over getting on the property ladder.
The figure rises to 76% for those in the 18-30 bracket and with 26 being the most popular age to take out a wedding loan, the data suggests that millennials, in particular, are prioritising marriage over mortgages.
So why has this marriage vs mortgage mentality taken hold? Back in the day, this used to be the norm of course. “Living in sin” as it was called, was frowned upon by older generations. However, with the vast majority of couples deciding to rent a place before buying, I think we can rule out a rise in evangelicalism as the reason behind this trend.
A much more sensible suggestion is that this is a reaction to high house prices, especially in London. With an average house costing over £480,000, Londoners have to fork out an astonishing 138% of their annual salary for a house deposit, compared to just 32% of their income for a wedding loan.
But it’s not just house prices that are on the up as wedding loans are also increasing year on year, rising from £7,946 in 2016 to £8,466 in 2017. In fact, for Scotland and the North East, where house prices are cheaper, tying the knot is actually more expensive than a mortgage, with it taking an average of four years to pay off a wedding loan – the equivalent of an average house deposit.
So what’s the answer to tackling these rising cost? Sally Francis, a money expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented on the statistics…
“Both mortgages and wedding loans come with responsibility and commitment but it’s interesting to see that a significant number of us, particularly millennials, are prioritising marriage over buying a home because in reality doing both is often unaffordable.
“Although Stamp Duty has recently been removed for first time buyers, which certainly helps, there’s a lot of speculation that mortgage rates will not be getting any cheaper. With staggering house prices showing no signs of going down and wedding loans also on the rise, it’s more important than ever to shop around and find the best quote when taking out a loan of any kind.”
The editorial unit