The growing trend to buy together has led to 32% of joint property owners co-owners stuck in unsuitable house-share arrangements, according to research from OneFamily. In the past five years, nearly 145,000 properties were bought with friends, siblings, or family members, over twice as many as the five years before, and this is set to double again in the next three years with more people planning to join forces with others to get on the property ladder3. One in five (20%) people who bought with friends and family say they are forced to keep living with their co-owners because they don't have another option and cannot afford to move on, sell up or buy out their co-owners. As a result, more than one in 10 (13%) now regret buying a property with someone else. For those buying with friends, the average length of a happy house-share is just over five years before lives change and people want to move on, however it's not easy to extricate from a jointly purchased property meaning half of all co-owners (52%) of those who bought with friends or family want to move on but can't. High property prices and low interest rates on savings have pushed more people to join up with friends or family, with half (52%) saying they could not have afforded their home otherwise. However, it seems many of these partnerships are not thought through, with two in five (42%) ending up in rows. Most household spats are down to money, but cleaning, and upkeep and maintenance have also caused friction between co-owners. Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, managing director of lifetime ISAs at OneFamily, said: “Buying a home with friends and family members can be an attractive option for those wanting to get on the ladder - and the Lifetime ISA, which gives first-time buyers a savings boost of up to £1,000 a year, on savings of up to £4,000, can be used by multiple people, however buying with other people requires careful consideration. “If you own a home with someone but then, for example, you want to move in with a new partner, or your job is relocated to the other side of the country, you would probably consider renting out your property, but many mortgages don't allow sub-letting. Often there are two options: selling your share, or buying the portion you don't own – and for many people this is impossible. “We'd urge buyers to have an open, honest conversation to agree the terms in advance, should circumstances change and one of you wants to sell and move out.” By Property Reporter

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