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Mortgage crisis – 90% of arts and culture employees can’t remortgage

Mortgage rates in the UK have risen significantly during 2022, which appears to have proven an issue for homeowners hoping to switch mortgage deals.

A new survey conducted by Uswitch.com has revealed that rising interest rates – which are expected to increase further still after the Bank of England’s next meeting - pose the biggest obstacle for homeowners looking to switch mortgages, in spite of being up-to-date with their payments.

Mortgage rates in the UK have grown substantially during 2022, not least due to Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-Budget, which has since been nearly completely reversed.


Now, as part of their mortgage statistics report, the experts at Uswitch.com have examined which industry’s employees are most likely to be unable to switch mortgage deals, despite being up-to-date with payments. 

The research found that arts & culture employees are most unlikely to be able to switch, with 90.48% falling into this category. Some 73.68% of these can’t switch as their current deal hasn’t ended, which could mean larger repayments for the 23.81% of employees not on a fixed-rate deal.

Of those employees in this sector who are unable to switch, just over a fifth cited rising interest rates as the biggest barrier, while just over 15% said it was down to a change in income.

Meanwhile, more than 8 in 10 of travel and transport employees are unable to switch mortgage deals, with more than three quarters locked into their current deal. Over a fifth (22.22%) may witness rises in monthly repayments as a result of being on a variable-rate mortgage.

In contrast to the arts & culture industry, not being able to switch mortgage deals is more likely as a result of a change in income (7.55%) than rising interest rates (5.66%).

For those with a lower income looking to remortgage, rising interest rates are the largest obstacle, with 22.34% of those earning less than £15,000 citing this as the main issue preventing them from remortgaging their home.

By contrast, only 7.18% of those earning more than £55,000 named interest rate rises as the reason they are unable to remortgage.

Low-income homeowners are also likely to be more affected by a low credit score, with 10.37% of those with a low credit score earning less than £15,000 being prevented from remortgaging, in comparison to 4.55% of those earning over £55,000. Looking at industry type, legal employees are most affected, with 17.24% unable to remortgage due to a low credit score.

When it comes to change to income being a large factor in preventing homeowners from remortgaging, HR employees are likely to face this most often, with nearly a quarter being unable to switch deals.

Again, homeowners working in arts & culture – where low-paid jobs are more common - could also face these issues, with wages preventing 15.79% of them from remortgaging.

The findings showed that, on average, 14.07% of homeowners earning less than £15,000 are more likely to be affected by a change in income, while only 5.84% of those earning more than £55,000 have this same concern.

“If you’re nearing the end of your current mortgage deal, it might be worth looking at remortgaging options. If you’re on a variable-rate at the moment, switching to a fixed-rate deal means your repayments will remain the same for the duration of the deal and won’t be affected by interest rate changes,” Claire Flynn, mortgage expert at Uswitch.com, said.

“However, it’s important to bear in mind how remortgaging could affect your current plan. Leaving your plan early could result in early repayment charges (ERCs) that cost more than the potential savings from switching.”

She added: “Mortgage deals in the UK are often valid for six months, so if you’re within six months of your deal ending, you can lock in a new rate now and switch when your current deal comes to an end, avoiding an ERC. If you’re in this position, speak to a mortgage broker as soon as you can to find out what options are available to you.”


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