First-timers opt for love nest

Thursday, 07 February 2008 12:00

Last year saw a sharp rise in the number of first-time buyers moving into their first property with their other half, new analysis has revealed.

But, while it might be tempting to believe the UK is growing more romantic, experts predict it has more to do with difficulties in stepping on to the property ladder as a singleton, forcing couples to combine mortgage and bill payments.

According to mortgage broker, single people have traditionally accounted for more of the first-time buyers market.

However, while joint buyers made up 45 per cent of the market in 2006 by 2007 this figure had soared to 50 per cent.

Interestingly, men buying alone fell by five per cent in 2007 compared to the previous year, while the number of women buying alone remained the same.

Katie Tucker, technical manager for Charcol, said: “Buying together is a very sensible choice in terms of affordability. Not only for splitting the mortgage and bills, but more cuddling up should save you on the heating.”

She added: “By the end of 2007, Bank rate had increased from 4.5 per cent to 5.75 per cent, making mortgages too expensive for many people to take on alone. The monthly mortgage payments on just £150,000 over 25 years at 4.5 per cent is £830, but at 5.75 per cent they are a not-so-sweet £943 – a hefty difference to cope with alone.”

And with more economic uncertainty seeing us into 2008, this year could see the coupling-up trend from first-time buyers continuing.

Ms Tucker said: “Property value has increased by around 18 per cent in the last two years but incomes have hardly moved at all.

“Thankfully the confirmed bachelors and bachelorettes, rates are on the way down now, but it will take time,” she added.

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