Couples chosing children over home ownership

| November 9, 2011
Couples chosing children over home ownership

The old saying ‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’, may still hold true but difficult economic conditions are causing young couples to make some tough choices according to research by Churchill Home Insurance.

The nationwide survey found that 28 per cent of young couples in the UK are having to postpone buying a house in order to afford to start a family.

Just 33 per cent of those surveyed said they would buy a property before they started a family while 43 per cent said they would start a family first.

Marriage came at the bottom of the list of priorities, with just 22 per cent saying they would prioritise getting married over buying a house and having children, while 21 per cent said they had postponed plans to get married because of financial concerns.

A small number of couples, 8 per cent of those surveyed, had been put off marriage permanently by financial pressures.

Home ownership has now fallen to its lowest levels since the mid-1980s and with house prices at unaffordable levels and mortgage terms prohibitive for many people, people are turning to the rental market to find their homes.

While this is good news for landlords, high demand in the rental market is causing rents to rise, creating further difficulties for young couples seeking their own home.

The latest figures from LSL Property Services, the owner of the Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agencies, show average rents hitting record levels.

The average rents across 18,000 properties in England & Wales was £718 per calendar month in a recent survey by the firm, £29 more than a year ago.

Couples are also faced with demand for rental properties exceeding supply, which is contributing to an increase in the speed at which properties are being let.

The latest figures from Countrywide show that properties were let within 12.7 days on average in the third quarter, half a day quicker than in the previous quarter.

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