If you like it, put a mortgage on it...

11 July 2018

61 per cent of First Time Buyers believe buying a house together is a greater commitment than getting married


  • Almost two-thirds of First Time Buyers believe buying a house with your partner shows greater commitment than getting married, according to new research by Barclays Mortgages

  • Over a quarter (29 per cent) feel buying a property together is a good test of a relationship and should be done ahead of getting married

  • Relationship expert Corinne Sweet reveals her tips and tricks on how to navigate your finances and prepare for life’s big moments as a young couple

New research from Barclays Mortgages reveals that 61 per cent of First Time Buyers believe buying a house together shows greater commitment to your partner than getting married.

There were stark differences in attitudes across the country, as the North East was revealed as the least keen on marriage, with 51 per cent prioritising buying a property over their special day. Perhaps unsurprisingly, southerners are more keen to tie the knot than their northern counterparts, with more couples in London (33 per cent) choosing to walk down the aisle before securing the keys to their first home.

Whilst high house prices may play their part in this decision, 56 per cent of couples in the UK said that, if money was no object, they would still choose to buy a property first.

The need to choose between marriage and property is not just a difficult decision, the research shows it can have a real impact on a young couple’s living arrangements. 54 per cent of Londoners have been forced to live with either their parents or in-laws as they save for a house deposit, with 13 per cent admitting that the need to choose between marriage and the property ladder has caused an argument in their relationship.

Top 10 regions

prioritising getting onto the property ladder over getting married


North East


East Anglia


North West


Yorkshire and the Humber


South West


East Midlands








South East



Hannah Bernard, Head of Mortgages at Barclays, commented: With house prices at an all-time high, it’s no surprise that young couples see a joint mortgage as the ultimate act of modern-day commitment. Buying your first home is a big step in any relationship and we understand that the journey starts long before you apply for a mortgage.

“From the moment you start saving to the first day’s house hunting, we want to help people stay in control of their money – whether through our competitive Help to Buy ISA or our innovative Family Springboard mortgage – so that young couples no longer have to choose between marriage and their dream home”.

Before making such a strong commitment as getting a mortgage for your first home, it’s crucial that couples understand how their partner thinks and behaves when it comes to money. Relationship expert Corinne Sweet has partnered with Barclays Mortgages to create top tips and tricks to help young couples financially prepare for the journey to owning their first home.

Corinne Sweet, Relationship Expert, commented: “Living together as a couple is a huge commitment. In past generations, when property prices were more affordable, couples tended to only make such a step when they’d legally committed to one another through marriage. Whilst it’s fantastic to see that today’s young couples appreciate the significance of such a decision, it’s important to really get to know each other’s finances before taking the plunge.

“Getting a mortgage should be the easy part - with money still seen as a taboo subject, many couples often struggle to open up to their partner about their finances. However hard it might be at first, when planning your life with a new partner, it is essential to have an open conversation about your finances and what money means to you both.”

Corinne Sweet’s Top Tips that every couple should follow before they make the 'modern-day commitment' and buy a property with their other half:

  1. Be honest with your partner about your attitude to money and be transparent about any ‘Emotional Money Baggage’ – do you have outstanding debts, loans or commitments that you need to come clean about?
  2. Discuss your short-term priorities and agree what’s really important to you – whether it’s buying a house or getting married, you need to talk about your expectations and be clear how finance plays into it all. It may be helpful to write it down in a letter or email, particularly if you’re nervous about talking money with your partner for the first time.
  3. Discuss who will pay for what and how you’ll manage money as a duo – this may depend on your earnings, but will you pool together and get a joint account for everything, a house account purely for bills or continue to keep your finances separate? 
  4. If you are looking to buy a house together in the future, does your dream home look the same? For example, house or flat, inner-city or suburbia, garden or no garden? These are all questions it’s better to ask before you get to the point of house hunting.
  5. Enjoy the excitement but also be pragmatic and prepare for all outcomes, particularly when buying a property together. Talk to your partner about what would happen to your property, investments and possessions should your relationship break down. It may be worth drafting a cohabitation agreement or consulting a lawyer to ensure your interests are protected.
  6. If you think you’ll have to live with parents whilst saving for a deposit, discuss with your partner how it will work - what you want, how to behave, what you can live with. Once agreed, talk through your expectations with your parents or in-laws and delicately negotiate any “house rules” before you make the move.
  7. Money brings up strong feelings and it’s easy for a discussion to quickly turn into an argument. Keep conversations short, to the point and, most importantly, try to be honest, fair and respectful at all times.

For further information on Barclays mortgages visit www.barclays.co.uk/mortgages 

House hunters can download the Barclays Homeowner app to find a dream home, calculate borrowing and for direct access to estate agents and mortgage specialists

Research carried out on behalf of Barclays Mortgages by One Poll in June 2018, made up of 2,000 Millennial respondents.