Research from Shelter and YouGov suggested 59% of rent or mortgage payers are already struggling to keep up with their housing costs.
The housing charity said it had seen a surge in the number of people visiting its website for advice on rent and mortgage arrears, and is urging anyone having difficulty meeting their housing costs to get help as early as possible.
Shelter’s helpline adviser Nadeem Khan said: “Every day at Shelter we hear from people who are feeling overwhelmed by mounting rent or mortgage bills, as the increasing pressure of sky high housing costs continues to take its toll.
“Many have spent a long time thinking they have nowhere to turn and are often close to breaking point by the time they come to us. If you’re in this situation, it’s so important to remember you’re not alone and that help is available.
“I spoke to a lady recently who was sick with worry for months because she couldn’t meet her mortgage payments and felt too ashamed to ask for help. When finally a court notice landed on her doorstep she came to us and we were able to help the family keep their home.
“We all understand how tempting it is to bury your head in the sand, but advice from Shelter is only a click or a phone call away – so get advice early to prevent things from spiralling out of control.”
Shelter is offering a free independent helpline on 0808 800 4444.