Nearly three quarters of mortgage holders worried about rising fees – poll

Nearly three quarters of mortgage holders are now worried about meeting the cost of rising fees in the coming months, polling suggests.

The Liberal Democrats, who commissioned the research, said the figures expose the “true horrors” of the crisis facing borrowers.

The party blamed the recent rise in mortgage fees on the Government’s “botched and disgraced” mini-budget, which triggered turbulence in the financial markets, pushing up interest rates.

The party is urging ministers to launch a mortgage protection fund in next week’s highly anticipated autumn budget, which would offer struggling households a “lifeline” of up to £300 per month.

The polling, carried out by Savanta ComRes, found that fears over rising mortgage payments are driving mounting anxiety over the cost of living.

The proportion of UK adults with a mortgage who said they were worried about a hike in their fees rose from just over half (55%) last year to almost three quarters (73%) – an increase of 18 percentage points.

Those with a mortgage are now more likely to be concerned about a rise in their housing costs than renters, of whom 64% said they were worried in the latest survey, up five percentage points on last year.

Elsewhere, the proportion of those concerned about a hike in their utility bills rose from 73% to 81%, while 77% of UK adults are worried about covering the cost of household goods in the coming months – up from 67% previously.

There was also a rise of nine percentage points in those concerned about an increase in fuel payments, from 61% to 70%.

Lib Dem Treasury spokeswoman Sarah Olney said: “These are deeply concerning figures which show the true horrors of the mortgage crisis.

“The Government has set off a mortgage ticking time bomb and must defuse it before families lose their homes.

“Millions are already struggling to pay a Conservative property penalty worth hundreds of pounds a month after the Government’s botched and disgraced budget.

“No-one should have to worry about the roof over their head because of this Government’s catastrophic incompetence.

“Ministers must use next week’s autumn statement to launch a mortgage protection fund, targeted at those most at risk of losing their homes, to offer struggling households a lifeline up to £300 a month.

“This could be funded by reversing tax cuts for large banks that are making huge profits from soaring interest rates.”

For the latest figures, Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,236 UK adults online from November 4 to November 6, including 642 who owned their home with a mortgage or loan.

The polling firm previously surveyed 2,231 UK adults, also online, from November 5 to November 7 2021, including 516 mortgage or home loan holders.

Data was weighted to be demographically representative of UK adults.

A Government spokesman said: “There are a range of factors affecting mortgage and interest rates, which have been rising internationally in response to global trends including (Vladimir) Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“The Government has taken immediate action to ensure the UK’s economic stability and demonstrate its commitment to fiscal discipline – in order to provide stability for markets, including mortgages.

“(Financial Conduct Authority) rules require firms to deal fairly with customers in payment difficulties.

“More widely, the Energy Price Guarantee will save the typical household around £700 this winter, based on what energy prices would have been under the current price cap, reducing bills by roughly a third, and (we) are providing payments of £1,200 to the eight million most vulnerable families.”