Over-stretched borrowers more likely to use a mortgage holiday

7 September 2020 | General

Almost 18% of those with a 95% LTV or higher took a mortgage holiday – compared with around 6% of those borrowing 25% or less, Hargreaves Lansdown analysis found.

Around 17% of those borrowing 5-6 times salary have deferred payments – compared with less than 6% of those borrowing up to one times salary.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Over-stretched borrowers are heading for a painful mortgage holiday hangover.

“The bigger percentage of the property value that people have borrowed, the more likely they are to have been forced to take a payment holiday. Similarly, the larger multiple of salary they’ve used, the higher their chances of needing to take a break.

“Borrowers carrying more onerous loans have struggled with their payments when their circumstances changed. Those with large loan-to-value mortgages, who borrowed higher multiples of income, are also likely to be younger – and generally younger people were far more likely to have been furloughed during the crisis.

“However, mortgage holidays are much riskier for this group. If they need to roll up the unpaid amount and add it to the total outstanding at the end of the mortgage holiday, it will eat into their capital. If they only have a tiny amount of equity to start with, they could fall into negative equity. If house prices then drop, they could end up having borrowed significantly more than their property is worth.

“This doesn’t have to matter if they plan to stay for the long term and house prices have time to recover.

“However, it becomes a lot more serious if the crisis has meant a change in circumstances, or revealed they were just too overstretched.”

This post has originally been featured in Property Wire.