Home owners in the UK have today earned enough on average to cover their mortgage payments for the rest of the year, according to calculations for what is known as mortgage freedom day.
The data from lender the Halifax shows that, based on the average annual mortgage repayment cost of £7,968 and the average net annual income of £26,810, earnings are sufficient to cover the annual cost of a mortgage.
But there is a wide variation in mortgage freedom days across the country. For home owners in Scotland it was 14 March in Northern Ireland the 15 March and then the North of England and Yorkshire and Humber the 25 March while owners in London have to wait until 27 June.
‘Our research is a simple way of comparing mortgage and rent payments, quite often the largest financial commitment people make, across the UK using average regional earnings,’ said Chris Gowland, Halifax mortgages director.
‘Whilst it excludes other living costs, the research highlights a divide between the North and the South, with those in the South having to wait longer to reach mortgage freedom than their counterparts in the North,’ he added.
At local authority district level, new borrowers in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, reached mortgage freedom first on 26 February and seven of the 10 earliest mortgage freedom days this year took place in Scotland, including North Lanarkshire on 26 February, East Ayrshire 28 February and Renfrewshire 02 March.
With home owners in London having the longest to wait, it is those in Haringey that will wait even longer with their mortgage freedom day not until 06 September while in Brent it is 30 August and Camden 26 August.
Rental freedom day also varies across the country. Those in the North achieved rental freedom the first this year on 06 April, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber on 07 April and Scotland 13 April. Once again, Londoners have the longest to wait with tenants not achieving rental freedom until 29 July.
‘As our research confirms, homeownership is still cheaper than renting. Rental freedom day falls 17 days after mortgage freedom day, showing that, despite barriers to property ownership, home owners are still better off than renters,’ Gowland added.