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Mortgage debt scares new homeowners

23 February 2004
Nearly a quarter of first-time buyers who recently bought a home are worried they will not be able to keep up with their mortgage repayments, a new survey claims.

Research by Alliance & Leicester found that 22 per cent of people who bought their first property during the past 12 months cite not being able to pay their mortgage as their biggest fear.

An additional ten per cent of recent homeowners claimed they could not afford basic maintenance of their property and just over a third of non-homeowners were worried they would panic-buy just to get a foot on the property ladder.

With house prices continuing to rise, many first-time buyers are struggling to buy a home and fears that interest rates will continue to rise over the next year are daunting those who have recently purchased property. The Alliance & Leicester survey found that one in eight new buyers now regretted a rash purchase.

The average property bought by a first-time buyer now costs £117,600 and the study showed that 18 per cent of people trying to get on to the property ladder worry that they will not be able to afford the mortgage repayments.

Paul Cooper, head of mortgages at Alliance & Leicester, said: "While some buyers may feel pressure to buy their first home, they should ask themselves two questions - can they afford it and do they want to live there."