Mortgage affordability greatly impacted by increase in energy prices
A recent study has shown that the rising cost of energy could lead to thousands of applicants missing out on mortgages due to its impact on their affordability.
Data analysis by Mortgage Broker Tools (MBT) has found that while three in four mortgage enquiries currently have options where the loan size requested is considered to be affordable, this could drop to around 65% once lenders have included rising energy costs in their affordability calculators.
According to the MBT Affordability research platform, 75% of mortgage enquiries were affordable in August, but with Ofgem saying that annual energy bills are expected to go up by £1,578 for the average household, this increased cost could reduce the average loan size available to mortgage borrowers by £7,125.
MBT stressed that the impact of this reduction could mean that thousands of prospective mortgage customers could miss out on being able to access the loan size they want, which may have otherwise been considered affordable.
“The cost-of-living crisis is impacting everyone in a number of ways, not just energy prices,” Tanya Toumadj (pictured), chief executive at Mortgage Broker Tools, commented. “But the rising price of energy is certainly one of the most significant factors contributing to inflation and these additional costs need to be considered by lenders as part of their affordability assessments.
“Analysis of our data, which is based on tens of thousands of mortgage enquiries processed through MBT Affordability, has found that increasing energy costs alone could make a significant difference to mortgage affordability. In fact, more than 10% of mortgage enquiries that may otherwise have been considered to be affordable, could miss out on the loan size requested.”
The good news, Toumadj pointed out, is that mortgage lenders are taking an increasingly data-driven approach to affordability, enabling them to offer loan sizes that are more appropriate to individual circumstances.
“Often, the best lender for affordability may not be one of the first to be considered, so thorough research of the market is needed,” she said. “For customers, the best way to do this is by speaking to a mortgage broker and, for brokers, the best way is to use technology to help them understand the available options from a wide selection of lenders.”