The UK Mortgage Freedom Day is calculated as the day when homeowners will have paid the total cost of their mortgage for the entire year. The date is calculated by Halifax, and is based on the average mortgage repayment and the average net income over 12 months. These have been calculated this year as £7,968 and £26,810 respectively.
Using these figures, 19th April was the UK’s Mortgage Freedom Day for 2017. However, delving into the figures and going beyond averages reveals some stark contrasts between areas.
Scotland comes out on top in March
While the UK waited until mid-April to hit freedom from mortgage payments, Scotland reached their Freedom Day a whole month earlier, on 14th March. Northern Ireland celebrated theirs on the following day. Wales wasn’t far behind, on 23rd March.
Meanwhile, there are stark contrasts between the English region with the earliest Mortgage Freedom Day date, and the one with the latest. Yorkshire and the Humber has the top spot, celebrating theirs on 25th March, while Londoners must wait until 27th June to pay off their mortgage fees for the year, based on these figures. Even the south-east of England managed better than that, hitting their date on 31st May.
Averages hide the real Freedom Day that will fall for many people all over the UK
Of course, the averages hide the fact that many people won’t be earning the average net income shown above, and may be earning far above or below this amount. Additionally, the average mortgage payment per year can vary markedly, depending on the mortgage deal a person has, and the size of their mortgage. However, the research does provide a rough guide as to which areas provide the best value for money for mortgages and property purchases.
“Mortgage Freedom Day has no doubt come for many already this year,” said Darren Pescod, managing director of The Mortgage Broker Ltd. “However, it should only be used as a guide. The more you delve down into the data for each area, the more useful it can become. For example, even within Scotland, there are diverse figures. Homeowners in North Lanarkshire hit their Mortgage Freedom Day back on 26th February this year, far ahead of the Scottish average. And in London, people in Haringey must wait until 6th September to celebrate their Mortgage Freedom Day.”
Getting a good mortgage deal is one of the best ways to adjust your own Freedom Day
This illustrates how important it is to find a good mortgage deal, particularly if that deal gives you a fixed rate for a couple of years or more. Striving to increase your income will also help bring your date forward, but that is arguably not as easy to do as finding a better mortgage deal. The location you live in is perhaps the most relevant element of the equation, and that is something not all of us can do much about. It seems Londoners will be resigned to celebrating a lot later than many of us.