A third of mortgage holders struggling with payments amid rising rates, ONS says

Half of people who have a mortgage have said they are worried about rising interest rates, according to a new survey.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that around a third of people who are paying rent or mortgage payments have seen their payments go up in the last six months.

As a result, a third said they are finding it difficult to make these payments.

It comes as the average two- and five-year fixed-rate mortgages surpassed 6% after the former chancellor’s mini budget last month, for the first time since 2008.

Lenders have said that the recent market volatility has led to a swathe of calls from borrowers who are concerned that their monthly repayments will go up.

The ONS’s survey this month showed that 48% of mortgage holders reported being worried about changes in interest rates on their mortgage.

This figure jumps to 70% of people with a variable-rate mortgage, meaning their interest payments can move in accordance with a lender’s own rate or with the Bank of England’s base rate.

Meanwhile, 52% of people with a fixed-rate mortgage reported feeling worried about rising rates.

Santander said earlier in October that it had seen a 40% surge in people overpaying on their mortgage in the week following the mini-budget, in efforts to bring down their overall balance and monthly repayments.

Its financial support team also reported an influx in homeowners reaching out in advance of their fixed-rate mortgage deal coming to an end.

Just a fifth of mortgage holders surveyed by the ONS said that they were not worried by rate changes.

Furthermore, the survey revealed that people in the UK are increasingly hesitant about what the future holds, in terms of the wider macroeconomic environment and their own circumstances.

More than half of people reported feeling unsure about the future – a significant rise from the 41% who said so in September.

The rising cost of living was cited as the biggest worry, at 79%, with the price of food shopping pushing up living costs for the vast majority of respondents.

The UK’s consumer prices inflation rate hit 10.1% in September and was driven up by elevated food prices, with the cost of dairy and meat seeing sharp increases.