Number of cohabiting couples increases by a quarter in ten years
According to the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type in the UK.
The research found that the number of cohabiting couple families is growing faster than married-couple families, up 25.8 per cent over the ten years from 2008 to 2018.
During that time the overall number of families in the UK increased by eight per cent between 2008 and 2018, from 17.7 million to 19.1 million, alongside a significant change in the way that people are choosing to live.
The research suggests that the traditional household of a married couple with children is giving way to cohabiting couples and people living on their own.
Over two-thirds of families are married with children. However, their percentage has shown signs of decline, dropping from 69.1 per cent in 2008 to 67.1 per cent in 2018.
Meanwhile, the proportion of cohabiting couple families, the second largest family type, has increased from 15.3 per cent to 17.9 cent, which works out at 3.4 million families. The number of lone-parent families stands at 2.9 million (15 per cent of the total), giving them the third largest share.
There was a significant rise in the number of people living alone during this period, with the figure exceeding eight million for the first time, and the number of same-sex couple families had grown by more than 50 per cent since 2015.
Sophie Sanders, of the population statistics division at the ONS, said: “The number of families and households in the UK has continued to rise in line with the growth of the UK population over the past decade. However, the ways that people live have been changing.
“While married couple families remain the most common, cohabiting couples are the fastest-growing family type as people increasingly choose to live together before or without getting married.”
Women’s employment rate reaches record high
New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that the employment rate for women in the UK has reached a record high.
In the three months to June, 72.1 per cent of women in the UK were in employment. The figure compares to 80.1 per cent of men and 76.1 overall.
The ONS says that part of the reason for the increased rate of employment among women is the increase in women’s State Pension age from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2018. This has led to fewer women retiring between the ages of 60 and 65.
When the employment rate for women was first recorded in 1971, just 52.8 per cent of women aged between 16 and 64 were in employment.
In contrast, the proportion of men in employment fell over the same period from a high of 92.1 per cent.
According to Matt Hughes, the ONS Deputy Head of Labour Market Statistics, three-quarters of the growth over the last year in the overall employment rate has been because of more women working.
Figures reveal pre-Brexit property boom
New figures from property website, Rightmove, have shown a marked rise in sales agreed as the UK heads towards the 31 October Brexit deadline.
The month to 10 August saw 6.1 per cent more sales agreed than in the same period a year earlier.
Miles Shipside, a director at Rightmove, said: “Whilst approaching another Brexit deadline is now nothing new for prospective buyers, this one may seem more definite, and therefore one to beat, with the Government regarding this one as ‘do or die’.
“While the end of October Brexit outcome remains uncertain, more buyers are now going for the certainty of doing a deal, with some having perhaps hesitated earlier in the year.
“There’s only so long that buyers and sellers can delay the familial, financial and emotional forces driving the need to move, and with the average time between agreeing a sale and moving in being more than three months, we’re now entering the last chance saloon for those who want to have finished their move before the end of the year.
“We often see an autumn activity bounce, but perhaps this year’s political activities have brought that forward into a summer surge as buyers have gone bolder and earlier than usual.”
Rising number of parents take legal action over ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ loans
An increasing number of parents are taking legal action to get their money back following the Bank of Mum and Dad (BOMAD) loans to help their children buy their own home.
Recent research has found that there are 12-15 cases each money of parents taking their adult children and their spouses to court to recuperate their money.
According to the latest research, this figure has increased significantly since 2014, when there were just three cases per month.
BOMAD has become the tenth biggest lender in the UK, with lending totalling £6.3 billion in 2019, while Clydesdale, the UK’s tenth largest lender, has lent £5 billion in the same period.
The average amount that parents lend their children has increased to £24,100, but some parents are arguing that the money is an investment, rather than a gift.
Experts believe that the most common reason for legal action was when their child split from their partner.
A problem can arise when the parents of one of the children contribute a significant amount of money towards a property purchase, but they do not agree what the terms of that contribution is – whether it a gift, an investment or a loan.
A rise in house prices has seen parents become more likely to lend to their children in order to help them get on the housing ladder, while one in five of all financial transactions can be attributed to the Bank of Mum and Dad.