Saturday, 13 August 2022

Prices soar but it’s not the full story

by Jacky Hayler


ANALYSIS of the correlation between house prices and the rate of divorce has generated some of the greatest interest recently.

On the face of it, it should come as little surprise that it is more practical to divorce in a strong housing market. In a buoyant market those divorcing can be confident of achieving a sale of the main matrimonial asset (and extracting value from it) to set up both parties in their new separate lives.

But beyond this headline, there are some interesting trends and statistics which will determine the impact that divorce has on the housing market rather than vice versa. Specifically, over the past 30 years the demographic profile of divorces has changed, with a shift to higher rates of divorce amongst older couples.

In 1982 the highest number of divorces was among households where the husband was in the 30 to 34 age bracket. Thirty years later that has shifted on 10 years to the 40 to 44 age group, with more divorces in every age group over 40.

That does not just reflect the fact that we are marrying later, as the rate of divorce (expressed as a figure per 1,000 married persons) has also increased among all age groups where the husband is over the age of 35.


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