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IFAs increasingly worried about clients struggling to pay mortgages

Written by: Shekina Tuahene
Two thirds of independent financial advisers (IFAs) are concerned about their clients’ abilities to afford mortgage payments, a survey reveals.

The poll conducted by Opinium in January showed that more advisers were worried about this than in May last year when 43% of respondents cited concerns. 

The advisers put this down to rising interest rates and the increasing cost of living. 

Meanwhile, a quarter (27%) of respondents said they have had a higher volume of calls about mortgages since the mini Budget. 

More than two-thirds (68%) of clients making enquiries asked about the current state of the market, 64% enquired about remortgaging and 32% asked about the types of mortgage they could afford. 

First-time buyers despondent about market

According to the IFAs polled, first-time buyers have a negative outlook about the current housing market. Only a tenth of IFAs believe first-time buyers are optimistic. 

More than a third of respondents get the feeling that first-time buyers are putting off purchases and are waiting for house prices to come down, while seven in 10 believe prospective homeowners are waiting for mortgage rates to drop.  

As for buy-to-let borrowers, 73% of IFAs feel fewer people are looking to purchase buy-to-let properties due to the changing circumstances of the housing market over the last 12 months. 

‘A tricky time for many financially’

Alexa Nightingale, head of financial services research at Opinium, said: “As the cost-of-living crisis continues, and with interest rates and inflation still sky high, it’s understandable that advisers have concerns about their clients being able to afford their mortgages.  

“It’s a really tricky time for many financially, so it’s important that advisers remain in close communication with their clients, to provide guidance wherever possible.” 

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