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Almost a third of mortgage holders struggle to afford payments – ONS

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  • 14/07/2023
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Almost a third of mortgage holders struggle to afford payments – ONS
Some 28 per cent of mortgage holders have said they are finding it difficult to keep up with payments, government figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Cost of Living survey covering 8 February to 1 May found that renters were more likely to be struggling with higher living costs, as 43 per cent said they were finding it hard to afford the rent. 

Overall, 35 per cent of mortgage holders and renters reported that it was either very or somewhat difficult to afford housing payments. 

Among the adults surveyed, 96 per cent said expenses rose because the cost of their food shopping had increased, 57 per cent said energy bills and 37 per cent said the price of fuel. 

By comparison, mortgage and rent payments were having the least impact on the finances of adults in the UK as 27 per cent cited this as the reason for their increased living costs. 

 

Renters under more strain 

People who are renting were found to be 4.7 times more likely to be experiencing financial vulnerability compared to those who own their home outright. Mortgage holders were twice as likely. 

This could be due to the fact that renters spend more of their disposable income on rent than mortgage holders do on their mortgage, at a proportion of 21 per cent for renters and 16 per cent for mortgagors. 

This is according to the Living Cost and Food Survey for the 2022 financial year. 

The ONS survey found that in the last six months, 42 per cent of renters said payments had risen compared to 32 per cent of mortgage holders. Meanwhile 53 per cent of people part renting, part paying a mortgage said these costs had gone up.

Some 14 per cent of renters also said they were running out of food in the past two weeks of the surveyed period, while three per cent of mortgage holders said the same. 

Just four per cent of mortgage holders revealed they were behind on gas or electricity payments, while 13 per cent of renters said the same. 

The poll found that 19 per cent of renters had a direct debit or standing order that they were unable to pay in the last month within the surveyed period, compared to four per cent of mortgage holders. 

Some one per cent of mortgage holders were using support from charities and eight per cent of renters had sought assistance. 

When it came to saving up for the next 12 months, just 26 per cent of renters said they would be able to compared to 48 per cent of mortgage holders.

Meanwhile, 22 per cent of renters were already dipping into their savings to cover rising costs compared to 29 per cent of people paying a mortgage. 

Further, 27 per cent of people part renting, part paying a mortgage said they were using their savings to meet daily costs.

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