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Couples ditching getting hitched for buying their first home


A recent study has revealed that more couples favour purchasing their first home together over getting married.

Latest research from Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) shows that, whilst romance isn’t dead, it’s certainly taking second place to financial acumen as more than 60 per cent of young couples are now saying that they are prioritising buying their first home together, rather than getting engaged and saving for a wedding.

The MAB poll found that 66 per cent of 18 – 40 year olds in a serious relationship who are considering marriage and living together would prioritise buying their first home together over getting married, with 87 per cent saying that they could not afford to do both within a 12-month period. 

Purchasing your first home

Latest data from Halifax suggests that the average house price in the UK is now £212,079 meaning that, based on a 10 per cent deposit, a couple would need £21,200 plus money for legal fees and moving expenses.   

Halifax also estimates that 359,000 first time buyers bought homes in 2017. This figure is considerably higher than the latest number of marriages available, as the ONS reports 247,372 couples were married in 2014.

The price of tying the knot

Based on those figures, it’s easy to see why couples are happy to choose a new home over nuptials. Your wedding day is tagged as being the happiest day of your life, the fact is that it comes at a cost.  

The old wives’ tales of the bride’s father paying for the day may still be a true value in some families, however most of the financial burden sits with the couple. Of those surveyed by MAB, 83 per cent said that they would be prepared to compromise on the type of wedding they had to afford to buy their first home together.

In the UK, the average wedding costs a whopping £30,111 according to Brides Magazine, – to put that into perspective, that’s a 10 per cent deposit on a house worth £300,000 which could be the perfect new build starter home for a couple. But it’s not just the cost of the day itself.

The average engagement ring alone sets one of the partners back a huge £3,037 – that’s just the first step in the marriage process!

Two thirds of couples who MAB spoke to said that these outrageously high costs put them off having a big wedding. An emphasis is being placed on the long-term investment of owning a home, compared to the traditional wedding day.

It seems that couples now are taking the longer-term view, which is that building a home and a future together is the most important thing to them.  And what could be more romantic than that?

If you’re looking to buy your first house as a couple, visit Avant Homes’ find your new home hub and get inspired to find a new place to live.


About Mortgage Advice Bureau

Mortgage Advice Bureau is the UK’s most recognised mortgage intermediary brand*, winning over 70 national awards for the quality of its advice and service during the last five years. 

It has over 1,350 advisers offering expert mortgage and protection advice on a local, regional and national level to consumers, both face to face and over the phone. Mortgage Advice Bureau handles over £14bn of loans annually, and was the first – and is currently the only – mortgage intermediary to have floated on the London Stock Exchange, having joined the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in November 2014.

For more information visit or join the conversation on social media @MABCentral

*Based on Opinium consumer research, Summer 2019.