The recession is hurting everyone including couples. In the UK, almost a quarter of all couples in long-term relationships are forced to live in separate properties. Many people who are either engaged or in a committed relationship cites the cost of buying a home as the reason that they are apart.
An estimated 1.1 million couples are collectively spending an extra £5 billion a year on accommodation despite spending at least three nights a week together, according to a recent survey. The research found 23% of couples in a serious relationship do not live together, spending an average of £4,819 more on rent and mortgage payments than they would if they shared a home.
Among couples living separately, 10% rented separate accommodation, 5% owned separate houses or flats and 8% were in a relationship where one partner owned their own place and the other lived in rented accommodation. Despite this, these couples spent an average of almost three nights a week together, with 27% spending more than half the week with their partner.
The average non-married couple living apart spent £808 a month on rental and mortgage payments, compared to the average monthly mortgage repayment for first time buyers being £406, Santander said.
Of those questioned, 16% said they would like to buy together but were put off by the costs, and another 5% said it was currently too difficult to get a mortgage.
Phil Cliff, director of mortgages at Santander, said: “There are a huge number of couples out there in long-term relationships who spend much of their week together but are outlaying money on two properties.
“While some couples may prefer having separate homes, many are only holding back from joint ownership because they are under the impression that it will be too expensive or they won’t be able to get a mortgage.”
Has the recession kept you and your significant other apart?