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Two in three people say housing is a key issue

Two in three people say housing is a key issue
Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

A third (36%) of Brits now say it’s difficult to afford their rent or mortgage, making it a national priority.

The top three issues facing the UK are still the cost-of-living crisis (89%), the NHS (88%) and the economy (70%), but now housing is fourth at 64%, according to new Government figures. This is now above climate change and immigration.

In the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS’) latest survey entitled Public opinions and social trends, Great Britain: household finances, the proportion of people concerned about housing has risen from 53% in late October and early November 2022 to 64% today.

The data revealed that two in five (41%) people say their rent or mortgage has risen in the past six months (from 27% in March 2022).

Worryingly, a third (36%) admitted that it’s difficult to afford the rent or mortgage.

Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Housing is more of a pressing concern for people than crime, climate change and immigration. Almost two in three people now say it’s a key issue facing the UK – not far behind the cost-of-living crisis, the NHS and the economy. And it’s hardly surprising.

“Housing costs are putting anyone paying a mortgage under increasing pressure. Over 1.4 million people remortgaged from a fixed rate mortgage last year – more than half were coming off rates under 2%, and were facing rates closer to 5%.

“Right now, Moneyfacts figures show the average two-year fixed-rate mortgage costs 5.94% – alarmingly close to 6%. It’s no wonder that ONS figures show a third of people say it’s difficult to afford the rent or mortgage.

“Life is even tougher for renters. For months now, we’ve seen landlords voting with their feet and leaving the property market, while the number of tenants continues to build. It means average rents are up by around 10% in a year.”

Related: Costs rocket for first-time buyers