If you're looking to buy your first home in the UK, think about looking for love first; new research out today shows most people aren't trying to go it alone in the current housing market.
First-time buyers are on the up, but almost two out of three of them are buying as part of a couple, underscoring just how hard it is for would-be homeowners to get on the housing ladder.
The study from the Nottingham Building Society shows that 63 per cent of first-time buyers in the past five years bought as a couple, and only 18 per cent of those who did so said they could have bought on their own.
Getting the money together for a deposit is the biggest barrier; 47 per cent of respondents said saving for a deposit, or borrowing money from their family, was their biggest challenge. A third said their problem was finding a house they could afford.
Ian Gibbons, senior mortgage broking manager at Nottingham Mortgage Services, said: “Rising house prices increase the pressure on first-time buyers and makes saving for a deposit more challenging."
A survey of mortgage brokers confirmed the numbers – one in three brokers said the number of joint applications has increased over the past two years. Brokers said that, on average, only one in five first-time buyers are purchasing property on their own.
“Clearly two salaries are better than one and that is driving the rise in the number of first-time buyers who can only afford to buy as part of a pair," Gibbons added.
"It is striking that just one in five who bought as couples believe they could have managed it on their own."