One in six people struggle to pay their mortgage

THE number of people struggling to pay their mortgage has surged by 78% over the past year, research released by housing charity Shelter has found.

Thursday, 18th November 2010, 2:55 pm

The results of a YouGov survey of more than 2,000 Britons reveals the extent of homeowners constantly struggling to pay their mortgage - three million mortgage holders across the country or the equivalent of one in six.

The 18% of homeowners now constantly struggling is in stark contrast to just 10% of people who said they were constantly struggling this time last year.

The research reveals the widespread pressure millions are now feeling to keep up with their mortgage costs.

Shelter says figures due out from the Council of Mortgage Lenders are expected to show thousands are losing their homes every month.

Although repossession levels are not as high as predicted, they are still the highest annual levels we have seen since the mid 1990s and the number of people already in more than 12 months of arrears has more than trebled in the last two years.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter says: “Clearly this shows what a difficult year it has been for many homeowners, with thousands of people literally hanging on to their homes by the skin of their teeth.

“With potential interest rate rises, higher unemployment and steep increases in food and fuel bills on the horizon, it seems unlikely things are about to get easier for homeowners any time soon.

“With so many homeowners in serious difficulty, the pressure could become too much and unless we take urgent action we may well be faced with a sudden surge of people at risk of losing their home in the coming months.

“Government must make sure that support is maintained for people struggling and ensure lenders play their part too so that homeowners are not faced with the prospect of losing their homes.”