The research from Post Office Money Mortgages found a similar percentage of couples aged 18-34, who are already on the housing ladder, believe they could only have bought a property together (27%).
Young couples will generally spend four years together before deciding to buy a home the study found, with almost a quarter (22%) declaring that they moved in together as a way to save money.
Despite joining their finances in order to get their first home, a third of young couples that own a property said they did not contribute equally to the household finances, with one fifth (20%) admitting this had led to some tension in the relationship.
The study found that cohabiting couples have taken a range of other steps in order to save enough money. For example, 38% have taken to socialising together rather than separately, while one in five have given up on a personal ambition, for example travel plans or a new career.
One in 20 young couples choose to live with one of their parents. Around 29% said the decreased rent they paid as a result relieved stress, almost a third (31%) said the situation lacked privacy while 14% said it led to their parents scrutinising their finances more.
Owen Woodley, managing director of Post Office Money, said: “It’s natural that once couples get serious they want to start building a life together, particularly when they see the potential of their shared income. However, saving towards the purchase of a home can be understandably daunting and the joint effort to reduce your shared cost of living and boost your savings can sometimes lead to friction in a relationship.
“In order to make the process less daunting, couples could benefit from marking their significant ‘savings milestones’ with fun, frugal celebrations.”