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Weight of mortgage debt burden falls

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13/05/2013
The number of borrowers who consider their mortgage repayments a heavy burden has dropped since 2006, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Weight of mortgage debt burden falls

In 2006-8, 15.2% of households described their property debt in this way, against 13.6% in 2008-10.

Edinburgh Mortgage Advice director Mark Dyason said: “The sharp cut in interest rates clearly played a role in this and, despite the tough economic conditions, will have massively lightened the debt burden for a huge number of households.

“What matters now is when interest rates rise. There is a strong correlation between interest rates and the weight of property debt. When rates go up, many more areas of the UK are likely to experience their property debt as a heavy burden.”

In the period 2008-10, fewer than two in five of all households had outstanding property debt on their main residence. London had the highest median property debt, at £128,000, while households in Scotland had the lowest at £55,000.

Lone parents were the most likely to report a heavy debt burden, followed by couples with children. By contrast, fewer than one in ten childless couples reported struggling with mortgage repayments.

In total, property debt was estimated to be £847.9bn – an increase of 3.1% in current prices from £822.8bn in 2006-8.

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