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Rise in number of people finding it difficult to afford rent/mortgage bills: ONS

Around a third (30%) of those who are currently paying rent or mortgage payments reported that they are finding it very or somewhat difficult to afford these payments, up from 37% in the previous period, data from the Office for National Statistics reveals. 

The survey of 4,982 households between 8 and 20 November found that 30% of those who are currently paying rent or mortgage payments reported that these payments have gone up in the last six months.

This has increased from 34% in the previous period.

In the latest period, 35% of those living in the most deprived fifth of areas in England reported this compared with 22% among those living in the least deprived fifth of areas in England.

Around one in 33 (3%) of those currently paying rent or mortgage payments reported they were behind with these payments. 

This proportion was slightly higher among those living in the most deprived fifth of areas in England, which represented 5%.

Among adults with a mortgage, 48% reported being very or somewhat worried about the changes in mortgage interest rates, and 25% reported being somewhat unworried or not at all worried.

Of those who were surveyed, 53% of people in their 30s and 40s are worried about higher mortgage rates.

Commenting on the latest data Hargreaves Lansdown senior personal finance analyst Sarah Coles says: “People in their 30s and 40s are barely hanging on by their fingertips. Assaulted on all sides by the cost-of-living crisis and the pressures of the squeezed middle years, their finances are being forced over the edge.”

“They’re more likely to worry about rising costs, be cutting back in a desperate effort to make ends meet, and still to be falling short. Meanwhile, the threat of mortgage rates leaves more than half of them in a cold sweat.

“Of those with a mortgage, they’re more likely than any other age group to have a fixed rate (82% compared to 70% overall). However, they’re also more likely to be worried about rising rates: 53% of them are concerned compared to 48% overall.”

“This may well be because plenty of them have bought relatively recently. They may have snapped up a first home, or traded up after having a family, and bought at a time when property prices were sky high.”

“Those who bought during the rush of the past few years may be sitting on an incredibly low mortgage rate, so they’re eying today’s higher rates with mounting dread.”



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