31 Jan Cost of living a concern for homeowners as half already stretched to cover monthly costs
Estate agent comparison site, GetAgent.co.uk has revealed that while homeowners remain confident that house prices will remain high and their monthly mortgage payments are unlikely to climb in 2022, the costs associated with running their home and the wider cost of living are a concern for the vast majority, with 48% already stretched or struggling to cover their monthly outgoings.
While many predicted the final stamp duty holiday deadline would bring an end to the high rates of house price growth seen during the pandemic, this is yet to materialise and it’s clear that homeowners remain confident in the market.
The survey of UK homeowners commissioned by GetAgent asked if they were worried that the value of their home would fall in 2022. Just 13% stated it was a worry, with 87% confident their home would hold its value.
Following the Bank of England’s decision to marginally increase interest rates at the end of 2021, GetAgent also asked if homeowners were worried that the monthly cost of their mortgage would increase in 2022.
This time a third stated that it was a worry but 71% remained unconcerned.
However, this month data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that the soaring cost of food and energy bills had pushed inflation to a 30 year high.
This wider cost of living was a far greater concern for homeowners, with 87% stating they were worried about an increase to the running cost of their homes (e.g energy bills), while 86% were also concerned about an increase in the wider cost of living (e.g the weekly shop).
GetAgent also found that 2% of homeowners were already unable to cover their monthly living costs, while 11% admitted it was already a struggle and 35% stated it was a stretch, meaning almost half (48%) were already stretched or struggling with their monthly cost of living.
Founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, Colby Short, commented:
“It’s a bit of a bittersweet outlook for the year ahead, with homeowners being generally confident that the value of their home will stand strong while their mortgage payments are also unlikely to increase. However, many do have cause for concern when it comes to the wider cost of living – should this continue to climb, could tip them into financial turmoil.
It really does highlight the importance of spending within your means, whether it be the weekly shop or when buying a home. Record low interest rates have tempted huge numbers of homebuyers to borrow more than they may have otherwise and although their mortgage payments are unlikely to rise this year, they are now feeling the squeeze in other areas of life.”