Council of Mortgage Lenders: Mortgage repayments hit 15 year high

12 June 2007
Mortgage interest payments are at their highest level since 1992, according to research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The CMLs regulated mortgage survey has revealed that interest rate rises have pushed payments up to the highest level seen in 15 years.

The data showed that in April, 18.7% of first time buyers’ income was going towards mortgage interest – the highest since the early 90s and up from 18.3% in march and 16.3% from April 2006.

The survey also found that on top of these increased payments, 58% of first time buyers also now have to pay stamp duty – up 7% from a year before.

And, according to the survey, it is not just first time buyers that are suffering – home movers were paying 16.3% of their earnings on mortgage interest, also the highest level in 15 years.

The rising rates are making fixed rate mortgages much more attractive to homeowners, with fixed rate deals now accounting for 78% of all loans.

CML Director General Michael Coogan says that things are just getting worse and worse for first time buyers, who are constantly seeing their finances strained.

He said: "Month on month we see affordability constraints for first-time buyers worsening. And with the impact of May's interest rate rise still to be felt, many borrowers face higher costs in the coming months.

"The vast majority of borrowers will be able to absorb higher mortgage payments. But with two million fixed-rate loans coming to an end over the next year and a half, many borrowers should anticipate that their mortgage costs are likely to rise and should be planning ahead."

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