Paying mortgage becomes harder

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One in six homeowners are finding it harder to keep up with monthly mortgage repayments, despite affordability reaching its best level for 10 years.

The average homeowner spent 15.4 per cent of their take-home pay on mortgage repayments in December, the lowest level since Barclays started its analysis in 2002. The group, which analysed transactions from 1.3 million current accounts, said the high level of affordability was caused by the record low level of the Bank of England base rate, as well as pay rises people had received.

House prices have risen by 68 per cent during the past 10 years, while average salaries have increased by only 37 per cent.

Thirteen per cent of homeowners said they could easily afford mortgage repayments but 16 per cent said their mortgage was now less affordable than it had been a year ago; 36 per cent of these said their pay had fallen.