The news is filled with articles, polls and potential outcomes regarding the forthcoming Scottish referendum. In little over a week the Scottish people will be asked whether or not they want their country to become independent from the rest of the UK. One thing is apparent at the moment and that is the fact there will be many sweeping changes across Scotland if the yes vote was to win.
One of these prospective changes would involve mortgages for Scottish homeowners. No doubt you have read about the big currency question hovering over the referendum – the question of what currency Scotland would use if it did achieve independence. While First Minister Alex Salmond has said they will continue to use the British pound, this is not backed up by the UK government. It is also very unlikely that Scotland would be able to join the euro. If a new currency had to be created this could lead to vastly increased mortgage payments for every Scottish mortgage holder.
Why could mortgage payments soar?
If Scotland did break away and become an independent country it would essentially be starting from scratch in so many different ways. This would include the currency. If a new currency was introduced, this would leave mortgage payers with a conversion headache. Their mortgages are currently paid in British pounds sterling. The conversion could be an expensive one that would add on a significant sum – potentially overnight – to any mortgage payments that need to be made.
Would an independent Scotland impose greater austerity measures?
Debt is a major issue if Scotland does break away from the UK. Alex Salmond is threatening to default on Scotland’s portion of the total UK debt – and yet this action would lead to shockingly high interest rates. Any money the country would have to borrow would be hugely expensive.
This in turn would lead to bigger austerity measures than we have already seen. People would have less money to work with and at the same time mortgage payments could increase, hitting families with a double-whammy that would affect them for years to come. This is without looking at the many other areas that could potentially be harmful and detrimental to people living in Scotland.
We will have the answer on 19th September
The referendum takes place on 18th September and it is expected that by the following morning we shall all know whether Scotland is set to become an independent country or not.
However until then here is more food for thought: some banks may not provide mortgages for people in Scotland. It may also be the case that first-time buyers will find it a lot more challenging to get a mortgage in Scotland should it vote for independence.
While the onus has been on where the Yes campaign is in the polls against the No campaign, there are clearly many more concerns to be highlighted here than may at first have been present.