'Mortgage freedom day' for UK homes

Press Association
'Mortgage freedom day' for UK homes
'Mortgage freedom day' for UK homes

Today is "mortgage freedom day", when home owners will typically have earned enough cash this year so far to pay off the cost of their mortgage for the whole of 2015, according to research.

Falling on April 18, this year's mortgage freedom day, which is based on average mortgage repayments and incomes across the UK, comes more than one week later than mortgage freedom day in 2014, which was on April 10, the report from Halifax found.

The later date this year is due to house price growth and static wages, Halifax said, adding that net annual incomes have fallen by £15 since last year, while typical annual mortgage repayments have increased by £613 over the same period.

The average amount someone would need to have earned this year so far to pay off their mortgage for the whole of 2015 is £7,567.

The UK's annual mortgage freedom day is calculated as the date when the average new borrower, whether they are a first-time buyer or a home mover, will typically have earned enough to have paid off the average annual cost of their mortgage repayments.

The date is worked out on the basis that the home owner would have spent every penny of their take-home pay since January 1 on their mortgage, and that they would have borrowed 70% of their home's value.

The average UK house price is now £192,970, having increased by 8.1% over the last year.

Craig McKinlay, a mortgage director at Halifax, said: "Our research shows that today, if people had put everything they'd earned since the start of the year towards their mortgage, the average home owner would be mortgage free for the remainder of the year."

With house prices and wages varying across the UK, mortgage freedom day came early for home owners in some areas, while in others, home owners have a longer wait until they have earned enough to pay off the annual cost of their home loans.

In areas of London, mortgage freedom day falls six months later than it does in parts of Scotland.

Mortgage freedom day came particularly early for people living in many areas of Scotland. Halifax said new borrowers in Renfrewshire and North Lanarkshire had the earliest mortgage freedom day this year, on February 28.

Eight of the 10 earliest mortgage freedom days this year were in Scotland, including North Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde and the Western Isles.

The average mortgage freedom day for people living across Scotland was March 22 and in Northern Ireland it fell slightly earlier, on March 19.

In Wales, mortgage freedom day took place earlier this month, on April 13, while across England, where property values tend to be higher, home owners have to wait another month - until May 18 - when they will have earned enough to pay off their mortgage for this year.

In England, Swindon in Wiltshire was the first area to see mortgage freedom day, on April 8.

Home owners living in Hammersmith and Fulham in London face the longest wait for mortgage freedom day.

They will typically face having to work until autumn, on September 15, until they have earned enough to cover the annual cost of their mortgage, Halifax found.

Those living in other London areas such as Camden, Hackney, Brent and Islington also face waiting until August until their incomes have covered their annual mortgage costs.

Earlier this week, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported "worrying" signs of an upward pressure on house prices, which appears to be being driven by a shrinking supply of homes coming on to the market.

Some experts have suggested that sellers are putting their plans on hold until after the general election has taken place.

Here are the areas with the earliest mortgage freedom days according to Halifax, followed by the dates they fell on this year:

=1. Renfrewshire, Scotland, February 28

=1. North Lanarkshire, Scotland, February 28

3. West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, March 1

=4. Larne, Northern Ireland, March 2

=4. Inverclyde, Scotland, March 2

6. East Ayrshire, Scotland, March 3

=7. North Ayrshire, Scotland, March 4

=7. South Ayrshire, Scotland March, 4

=7. Western Isles, Scotland March 4

10. Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, March 5

Here are the areas with the latest mortgage freedom days according to Halifax, followed by the dates they are due to fall on this year:

1. Hammersmith and Fulham, London, September 14

2. South Buckinghamshire, South East, August 28

3. Camden, London, August 27

4. Hackney, London, August 14

5. Brent, London, August 6

6. Mole Valley, South East, August 5

7. Islington, London, August 3

8. Haringey, London, July 31

9. Tandridge, South East, July 27

10. Ealing, London, July 26

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