The Office for National Statistics (ONS) public opinions and social trends study covering 23 August to 3 September showed that 42 per cent of respondents were finding it very or somewhat difficult to afford these payments.
This was a rise on the 35 per cent share of people citing difficulties during the same period last year.
Despite this, the ONS survey revealed most people are keeping up with payments with only two per cent of those polled saying they had fallen behind.
More pain to come
Graham Taylor, managing director at Hudson Rose, said: “These worrying figures show that the cost-of-living crisis is still very much in full swing. We are seeing the real effect of the base rate increases, leading to those coming off fixed rate mortgages starting to feel the pinch.
“With more mortgages set to roll off their historic low rates, expect these payment worries to increase in the coming months.”
Stephen Perkins, managing director at Yellow Brick Mortgages, said while the figures painted a “horrific picture”, he was surprised that there was only a seven per cent rise in people struggling with their housing costs.
“The Bank of England themselves say it takes 18 months for the full impact of an interest rate rise to be seen, so with so many such rises over the last 12 months and so many mortgages yet to come off their low fixed rate deals the worst is yet to come. Cutting back on non-essentials is papering over the cracks for now, but such measures can only go so far,” he added.
Justin Moy, managing director at EHF Mortgages, said while the figures were worrying, the worst was yet to be seen considering around 400,000 fixed rate mortgages were still due to end this year, and one million were expiring next year.
He added: “We are on the precipice of a recession and the government needs to act now. Their strategy at the moment has more holes than RAAC.”
Graham Cox, founder at Self Employed Mortgage Hub, also predicted that a recession would be on the horizon.
He said: “The ONS survey illustrates the stark choices people face. And unfortunately for many, the pain is still to come, as millions face having to remortgage at three to four times their current mortgage rate. As renters and homeowners alike batten down the hatches, the knock-on effects for the wider economy are huge, and we’re likely to have a sharp recession in 2024.”
Richard Campo, founder of Rose Capital Partners, said although it was a painful transition the country was coming out of an ultra-low interest rate period which lasted for 13 years.
Campo said: “The positive to take away will be there will be a greater focus on paying off debt which will be good for individuals and the economy in the long run. That will require some behavioural change of not ‘Ubering’ meals and ‘Amazoning’ whatever you want to buy. So while painful medicine, I feel that the patient needs it.”