From Motley Fool:
Millennials continue to confound older generations with an emerging tendency to reverse the traditional order of steps in a committed relationship. Where the norm used to be, “First comes marriage, then comes the mortgage,” a 2013 Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey found that for one in four married couples, joint homeownership came before wedding bells.
Those in the housing markets have definitely noticed this trend of buying a house before marriage. “I find a much higher percentage of millennials are the product of divorced or second families,” said Bruce Ailion, a real estate professional with RE/MAX Greater Atlanta. “The expectation of marriage as a forever proposition has changed and thus , they are not holding off on making major life decisions till marriage — whether that is moving in together, having children, starting a business, or buying a house.”
So what is it that makes getting a mortgage loan together — definitely a big commitment — easier than getting married first?
Rising costs of weddings. One reason could be the rising price of weddings in the U.S. With the average wedding cost ringing in around $28,000, many couples are putting off that expense in favor of other financial goals, such as buying a home.
Financial security. “Often in these couples, one or both feel capable of going forward alone with the home if something happened to the relationship either before or after marriage,” Ailion said.
High cost of housing. “Another factor: in many markets renting an apartment can be nearly twice as costly as owning,” Ailion said.” Many unmarried couples living together are doing so to reduce living expenses. One residence costs less than two.”
Confidently cohabitating. Millennials are more likely to postpone marriage, choosing to live together instead. For instance, from 1990 to 2008, while millennials were moving into adulthood, the share of households headed by a cohabiting couple nearly doubled (to 6.2 million), according to the Census Bureau.
Kear notes that fewer young Americans attach the same meaning to a wedding and marriage than previous generations”