Homeowners may despair as turmoil in the property market wipes tens of thousands off the value of their home — but new research suggests the weak economic climate is all that is keeping many couples together.

Data from the Office of National Statistics suggests that an unexpected consequence of falling house prices is a lower rate of divorce among married homeowners.

Researchers from property experts Savills analysed property market fluctuations and divorce rates, finding a “strong correlation” between high house prices and high divorce rates.

Lucian Cook, director of research at Savills, said struggling couples may choose not to split up a household because they will have less equity in their property to share.

Daily Telegraph