You may not have realised it, but Mortgage Freedom Day has been and gone already this year. It occurred on 19th April this year – one day later than last year. Research completed by Halifax indicated the day’s delay occurred because the average mortgage payment had seen a small increase of £17 this year. This tipped Mortgage Freedom Day over to the 19th.
What does Mortgage Freedom Day mean?
Put simply, this is the day by which the average new borrower will have earned enough income to be able to pay all their mortgage payments for the year ahead. Of course, while this is a good metric to compare one year to the next, it doesn’t work quite that simply in reality. New borrowers must allocate a set percentage of their monthly income to their mortgage payments, as does every other mortgagee. However, it does provide an interesting comparison to 2015, since new borrowers only had to wait a day longer to hit Mortgage Freedom Day this year when compared to last.
How are the figures calculated?
The day is worked out according to two average figures. The first is the average income earned, net of deductions, over the year across the country. The second is the average mortgage repayment figure worked out over the year. Average income currently stands at £26,023, while the average mortgage repayment figure for the year is £7,584.
Does Mortgage Freedom Day vary depending on where you live?
Yes, it does. The people who hit the landmark day the earliest were those living in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Property prices are traditionally lower in these regions, so the mortgages taken out by homeowners tend to be lower in comparison with other areas as well. This means those two areas hit Mortgage Freedom Day on 12th March – considerably earlier than the national average.
Perhaps predictably, the last part of the country to achieve freedom in this way is London. Anyone with a mortgage in the city will hit their freedom day on 26th June. This is a full three months after those in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
What about Rent Freedom Day?
This is calculated in much the same way, according to average income and average rental costs. And in a similar way, Londoners will be the last to hit this landmark day. This year, every penny the average Londoner earns will go on rent until 13th July. However, the average Rent Freedom Day is 5th May, and again, this is only a day later than was the case last year.
Does this mean mortgages are cheaper than renting?
This would seem to be the case – and it does ring true across the country in general, too. With mortgage rates still at record lows, it looks set to remain this way for some time to come. Good news for mortgage payers, but not so good for those paying to stay in rental properties across the country.