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The rise of the Multiple-Occupant Shared Home

House sold signBy sharing with friends, first-time buyers are increasingly managing to overcome the difficult hurdle of entering the property market, according to new research by Confused.com.

For many would-be first-time buyers, getting on the property ladder can seem like an unachievable goal.

But teaming up with a friend or friends to buy a house is the way forward for many.

Friends pooling resources

Confused.com has conducted new research*, which suggests that groups of friends becoming financially co-dependent could become the norm, rivalling traditional family units.

The report also suggests that people are increasingly embracing the idea of a 'Multiple-Occupant Shared Home' (MOSH).

According to the research:

  • 57 per cent of single people have a friend they trust sufficiently to buy a house with
  • 59 per cent of singles would think seriously about insuring the life of a friend if they bought a property together
  • 30 per cent of singles have multiple friends that they would happily buy property with
  • 65 per cent of single people who don’t own a property worry that they’ll never be able to get a mortgage
  • 59 per cent of singles who don’t own a house say that it would greatly improve their quality of life if they did own one
  • 64 per cent of single 18 to 24-year-olds have friends they trust enough to buy a property with, compared with 47 per cent of those aged 55 and over

And what of those who have already put their money where their mouths are?

Of those surveyed, 10 per cent of single men and 5 per cent of single women have already entered into this kind of relationship with friends.

The gender gap is narrower among those who would consider investing in a property with a friend.

Some 44 per cent of men said they would do so, compared with 38 per cent of women.

A young phenomenon

Perhaps unsurprisingly, young people are more open to the idea of getting involved in a MOSH.

Around 64 per cent of single 18 to 24-year-olds say they have friends who they trust enough to invest in a property with.The figure is 47 per cent for those aged over 55.

And what about getting involved with groups of friends, rather than just one? The younger people polled lead the way here too.

Around 36 per cent of 18 to 24-year-old singles have two or more friends they’d trust enough to buy a house with. The figure for those aged over 55 is just 21 per cent.

Matt Lloyd, head of life insurance at Confused.com, says: "Friendships have always, to a certain degree, provided an amount of financial support.

"But this trend has certainly been increasing over recent years, with more and more people taking out 'mates mortgages' to try and circumvent the current strict lending criteria.

"This coupled with lower overall marriage rates and higher average marriage ages for many means owning a home with a friend is a commonly considered option – and this is likely to become even more prevalent with time."

Follow the link to read the full report: ‘Friendships, Finance and the Future: The Rise of Singledom in the UK’

Also check out our infographic: 'Living single: Redefining the traditional household structure'

*2,000 single UK adults were interviewed between 20–24 April 2012. The research was carried out online by Future Poll for Confused.com.




Owe Carter

Owe Carter

Owe Carter has been a consumer interest writer for Confused.com since 2007. His career as a scribe began in local press, which saw him hunting ghosts, taking challenges from readers, living as B.A. Baracus for a week, and seeking out Pembrokeshire’s happiest dog.

Twitter: @ConfusedOwe
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