Are mortgages the new marriage? Why Londoners think saying ‘I do’ to a bank loan is the biggest relationship commitment they could make

Snog, marry, mortgage? Buying a house together has become the height of romance for Londoners

Snog, marry, mortgage? Buying a house together has become the height of romance for Londoners - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A survey carried out by Online Mortgage Advisor found 41 per cent of Londoners felt a mortgage was a bigger commitment than marriage or children

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single person in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a mortgage.

A new survey suggests that, as far as Londoners are concerned, getting a mortgage together is the biggest relationship commitment they could make.

With London singles struggling to ever find a home of their own on their own, finding a better half to share a bed and a bank loan with is often the only option when it comes to getting on the property ladder.

Whereas getting hitched or starting a family was once the epitome of romantic commitment, 41 per cent of Londoners stated that getting a mortgage was the biggest commitment they could make in a relationship.

A team at Online Mortage Advisor surveyed 2, 310 Britons over the age of 18 from 12 regions across the UK about what the felt were the biggest relationship commitments.

London was just pipped to the post for the title of most pro-mortgage by the East of England, where 42 per cent of respondents picked mortgages over matrimony. The East Midlands (37 per cent), Wales (30 per cent) and the North East (26 per cent) agreed.

If you want to put a ring on it, you might have better luck north of the border, where 41 per cent of those surveyed in Scotland picked walking down the aisle over walking to the bank.

As for the most broody part of the UK, the North West came top with 38 per cent choosing babies as the biggest step a couple could take together.

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When asked for the reasons behind their choices, those surveyed who favoured mortgages as the top relationship milestone gave their reasons behind these matters of the heart.

36 per cent stated that ‘sharing finances requires a lot of trust’, the top reason cited. A pragmatic 21 per cent said that ‘you can always get divorced if a marriage doesn’t work out’.

One in ten of the mortgage-happy respondents said they would ‘be happy to be a single parent’ if the whole commitment thing didn’t work out.

Has London reached a new romance low? Pete Mugleston, director of Online Mortgage Advisor, said:

“Attitudes have changed over the last 20 to 30 years and, as a result, we are seeing a shift in priorities. It’s acceptable now to own a house and live together out of wedlock as people feel increasingly less pressure to make traditional commitments when owning a home is more binding from a legal perspective.”

Mr Mugleston added, “Having a joint mortgage is often seen as the new marriage, as there are more legal implications and still a great deal of devotion, as people are willing to make a huge financial investment in their partnership.”

With London property prices at record highs making mortgages pricier than ever, going Dutch on a loan for a house is certainly a big step by anyone’s standards.

Whether it’s more expensive than throwing a wedding for 200 of your closest friends (including a dress, flower arrangements and multiple hen parties in exotic locales), or raising a child to the age of 18 in north London, however, is debatable.