1 in 6 homeowners struggling

11 November 2010

A family

The number of people struggling to pay their mortgage has surged by 78% over the past year, new Shelter research shows.

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

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

Figures due out from the Council of Mortgage Lenders are expected to show thousands are still losing their homes every month. Repossessions are at still the highest annual level we have seen since the mid 1990’s and the number of people already in more than 12 months of arrears has more than trebled in the last two years.

Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb, said: ‘Clearly this shows what a difficult year it has been for many homeowners, with thousands of people 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’.

He continued: ‘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.’

Get advice

Struggling with your mortgage? Get free advice: call Shelter’s expert helpline on 0300 3300 515 or get homeowner advice online

About the YouGov survey

1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2234 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10-12 August 2010. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

2.  36.7 per cent of adults surveyed said they owned their home paying a mortgage (equivalent to 17.4 million people – 2009 estimates from the Office of National Statistics indicate that there are 47.3 million adults in Great Britain) http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_population/mid-09-uk-eng-wales-scot-northern-ireland-24-06-10.zip (open Table 2 in the files available).

3. Of these 17.8 percent said they were keeping up with their mortgage payments, but it was a constant struggle. This equates to 3.1m adults people in Britain.

4. This compares to 10 percent of adults surveyed who own their own home paying a mortgage who were asked the exact question in an online YouGov survey of 5438 adults, carried out between 23-26 October 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

5. Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show there were 18,000 mortgages in 12 months or more of arrears at the end of Q2 2008 and 64,500 at the end of Q2 2010.