Flickr apartment hunting by  BKLYN guy When housing costs are high and romance is dead, many British couples opt to stay together since living apart is so hard on the wallet.

New research from Shelter.org suggests that prohibitively expensive rents and home prices have played a significant role in pushing people together – and keeping them together longer than they’d like.

The YouGov survey pointed out that almost two million couples in Britain have moved in together way too soon because it’s just more cheaper than living apart. The premature cohabitation trend is twice as common among among the 18-30 set, though more than half a million 31-44 year olds have rushed into the same decision.

Another shocking stat? About 3.6 million people have stayed together after the relationship has fizzled because they can’t afford living separately.

Canada’s seen a significant bump in cohabiting couples in the last few years. According to the last census, the number of common-law couples rose by almost 14 per cent between 2006 and 2011. In Vancouver, out of 535,180 unions, 48,140 were common-law relationships without kids. And Toronto counts 78,220 common-law couples among their 1,256,910 pairs. It’s hard not to wonder whether skyrocketing house prices and rents have kept couples together long after the home fires have stopped burning.

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