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Quarter of mortgage holders have difficulty keeping up with payments

Written by: Shekina Tuahene
New research has found that a quarter of people paying off a mortgage are finding it difficult or very diffcult to keep up with payments.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Impact of Increased Cost of Living Survey, conducted between September 2022 and January 2023, found that a quarter of respondents paying off a mortgage or loan which helped them buy a home said their mortgage costs had gone up.

And with costs rising, a quarter noted that it was very difficult or somewhat difficult to keep up with mortgage payments.

Meanwhile, 23% of renters saw a rise in rental costs and a third of shared ownership owners reported a rise in mortgage and rental costs – 31% of renters said they were having difficulty paying the rent.

Impact of rising energy costs 

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of people paying off a mortgage or loan said their energy bills had gone up. A rise was also reported by 76% of people who owned their homes outright, 78% of renters, and 68% of shared ownership tenants. 

Some 64% of people paying off a mortgage or home loan said they were cutting back on the use of gas or electricity in their homes, compared to 55% of renters and 57% of shared ownership tenants. 

To try and mitigate rising energy costs, 30% of people paying a mortgage or home loan said they were making energy efficient improvements to their properties.

Despite being more likely to cut back on the use of energy at home, 44% of mortgage holders said they were finding it either very difficult or somewhat difficult to keep up with energy bills. An even higher percentage of renters (61%) said the same. 

Saving stretched by cost-of-living crisis

Around a quarter of all people in varying tenure types were making use of their savings to cope with the rising cost of living. 

Renters were more likely to make use of credit than homeowners, with 22% relying on this as a source of income compared to a fifth of shared ownership tenants and 18% of people paying off a mortgage or home loan. 

Almost three quarters of all respondents said the cost of living has increased in the last month. 

A quarter of people paying off a mortgage said they borrowed more money or used more credit in the last month than they did a year ago. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of shared ownership tenants said the same, as did 31% of renters. 

Just 24% of renters said they would be able to save money in the next 12 months, compared to 36% of shared ownership tenants and 40% of people paying off a mortgage or loan. 

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