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UK mortgages: More than half of people in 30s and 40s worried about interest rates

Mortgage rates: Person looking at properties being advertised in estate agent shop window
The data also showed that 30% of those in their 30s and 40s have had to borrow more, and 22% are using credit to manage rising prices, inflation and higher mortgage rates. Photo: PA/Alamy

More than half (53%) of people in their 30s and 40s are worried about higher UK mortgage rates, new data has shown.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday, 81% of people in those age groups are worried about the cost of living, compared with 76% overall.

They are more likely than any other age group to have a fixed rate mortgage at 82% compared to 70% overall, meaning they are the most affected by the recent rate increases.

As many as 51% of them are spending less on food and essentials, while 42% admitted that they couldn’t afford a £850 bill out of the blue.

This is only the second time this figure has breached 40% since the ONS started asking the question this time last year – the last time was during the expensive summer holidays.

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The data also showed that 30% have had to borrow more, and 22% are using credit to manage rising prices. They are also twice as likely to be behind on energy bills.

“People in their 30s and 40s are barely hanging on by their fingertips. Assaulted on all sides by the cost of living crisis and the pressures of the squeezed middle years, their finances are being forced over the edge,” Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.

“They’re more likely to worry about rising costs, be cutting back in a desperate effort to make ends meet, and still to be falling short. Meanwhile, the threat of mortgage rates leaves more than half of them in a cold sweat.

Watch: Will UK house prices ever fall?

It came as the ONS also revealed that the current cost-of-living crisis is weighing more heavily on people living in the most deprived areas of England.

The survey revealed that those in such areas more frequently reported spending less on food and essentials at 58%, compared with a third of those living in the least deprived parts of the country.

However, Brits in the worst-off areas appeared more likely to have made energy efficiency improvements to their home, the ONS said.

More than a third said they had made necessary changes in November, compared with less than a quarter of those living in the most deprived areas.

Read more: Interest rates: Top Bank of England official warns further rises needed

UK inflation hit a high 11.1% in the year to October, with both business and consumers suffering from the sharp rise of goods and services.

Earlier this month, Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England (BoE) admitted that runaway inflation is affecting lower income households harder as a larger proportion of their spending goes on essentials like food and energy.

The ONS used the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) to classify areas into five groups, ranging from the most deprived to least deprived fifth of areas.

The IMD takes into account key domains such as income, education, health and crime to determine the deprivation of an area. Cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Kingston upon Hull, and London are home to some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in England.

Wales and Scotland were not included in the analysis due to the relatively smaller sample sizes in its survey.

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