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Outstanding mortgages hits all-time high in the UK

INCREASE: The average balance on mortgages has been pushed over £120,000 (Photo credit: Getty Images)

CONTINUED GROWTH in house prices, along with a small decline in the number of outstanding home loans has led to the highest level of mortgage debt per household ever recorded.

The October Money Statistics, produced by the Money Charity, have revealed that the average outstanding mortgage in the UK stood at an eye-watering £121,678 for the month of August, in 2017.

This has increased on 2013, when the figure stood at £109,487, and is the first year where the average balance on mortgages has been pushed over £120,000.

Driven by ever-increasing house prices, it is also fed by longer and longer mortgages repayment periods and larger loans – the amount of 35-year mortgage terms has increased from 2.7% in 2005 to 15% in 2017.

Furthermore, as wages stagnate in real terms, the average first time buyer is borrowing 3.63 times their income. Therefore, with outstanding mortgage debt rising to new levels, and higher interest rates predicted in the next month, it could become harder for households to pay off such mortgages.

However, the amount of mortgage accounts with arrears has remained largely unchanged, and payments due for loans in arrears have continued to increase over the past year. This is a knock-on effect from continued low interest rates.

Steph Hayter, Acting Chief Executive of The Money Charity says: “The rising amount we owe on mortgages should be a concern to all of us. As interest rates seem likely to rise, people may soon begin to feel the effects on their wallets.”

“Those with large outstanding debts, especially people with variable rate mortgages, should prepare for a time in the near future where monthly repayments will be higher.”

Other key points from the October Money Statistics include:

- The savings ratio recovered up to 5.9% in Q2 2017, up from 1.9% in the previous quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics.

- Outstanding consumer credit per adult has increased by £369 in the month of August 2017.

- 35% of households are believed to have no savings whatsoever in the UK.

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