1 in 4 cohabiting couples who split still living together in negative equity

[UKPRwire, Wed Jan 20 2010] For most, financial pressures are the reason they can’t make a clean break. 63% of couples who end up having to living together post break-up do so because they can’t afford to live separately.

For homeowners, things can be tougher still. Negative equity is trapping a significant number of those forced to stay under the same roof (both divorcing and unmarried cohabiting couples who are splitting up). Around one in forty couples have to live together because they are stuck in negative equity misery. On average, those homeowners affected are in negative equity to the tune of £12,000. These couples would have to wait 8 months for that sum to be recovered through property price growth alone.

Jonathan Moore of said: “Relationships don’t always work out, but the recession is preventing even more couples from making a clean break when they split up. Difficulties in selling houses, negative equity hell and not being able to afford to move out are forcing more people to carry on living with their exes. Needless to say, this is usually awkward and distressing. Unfortunately, those same financial stresses that make the breakup process so difficult are often a key reason for the breakup. And although people are aware of the negative equity trap that many divorcing couples face – few realise the heartache this is causing cohabiting couples who have split up – they are a forgotten group. ”

Taking in a lodger offers financial support to many couples looking to cope post split. Where one partner has moved out, over a third (35%) of those remaining in the house have decided to take in a lodger. The overwhelming majority of these (85%) have done so to earn more cash to continue living in the same house and help manage bills, mortgages, rent, and other costs – although 9% wanted to get someone into the house to make it feel more like a home after their partner left.

Not everyone is stuck and flatsharing can offer a haven for couples who split having lived together. Of those people who are able to move out, 36% move into a flatshare following a breakup while 28% move back in with parents, 19% move into their own rented accommodation and 9% purchase a new home. The majority of people who choose to flatshare find it the cheapest way to live in their chosen area (64%), 14% choose to flatshare to expand their circle of friends and kick-start their social life while 13% would rather flatshare than live alone.

Jonathan Moore said: “There are options for people living together after a relationship ends. Moving into a flatshare can offer an escape route – and is usually more affordable than renting alone. Flatsharing also offers the opportunity to meet new people and avoid loneliness. For those whose ex-partner has moved out, taking in a lodger can help meet the additional costs of paying a mortgage or rent.”

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