Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Heartbreak House Hunt

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Heartbreak House Hunt

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Cochlin

Estate agents are set to cash in on a surge of broken marriages this Christmas.

Property firms ( and marriage guidance experts ( are expecting a New Year surge in the North-East housing market because of relationships wrecked by Christmas.

The annual increase is being blamed on the extra stress associated with Christmas, and parents not wanting to ruin their childrens' celebrations by splitting up before the festivities.

But while Christmas will spell misery for many families, thousands of others were out hunting last minute bargains yesterday ( despite claims of a slump in sales.

Recent years have seen a steady rise in the number of couples who split up ( with this year expected to show the steepest climb yet.

The news comes as Northumbria Police issued domestic violence figures for the last year, which also show a sharp rise in incidents in December.

There were 2,180 reported crimes in December ( 312 above the monthly average.

With fewer couples deciding to get married when they are in their early 20s, the housing market has become saturated

with people living on their own.

And financial adviser Kim Addavide, of AYP Financial Services Ltd in Hexham, says her firm has seen a large number of people every January who have been forced to separate or divorce after Christmas.

She said: "I don't think this is a particularly new thing, but we are certainly noticing a huge increase in people coming through the doors in January.

"Over the last two or three years we have definitely seen a trend after Christmas ( the festive season is often the last straw for couples who are having difficulties.

"Obviously, every situation is different, but a lot of people stay together for the sake of the children and then call it a day afterwards.

"It is both men on their own and women with the kids that are looking for places, but the New Year is a bad time for buying houses after the huge expense of Christmas. …

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