According to new research from Opinium, two thirds (63%) of financial advisers who advise on mortgages are concerned that their clients may struggle to make their mortgage payments as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.
These concerns have grown significantly since May last year, when Opinium last looked at the views and attitudes of advisers, where two fifths (43%)* said they were concerned about clients being able to afford payments.
The concerns of IFAs regarding clients being able to afford their payments are perhaps understandable, with advisers stating that clients who aren’t on a fixed term deal are having to pay up to £369.90 more a month on their mortgages, as a result of rising interest and inflation rates.
In addition to worries about their clients’ finances, a quarter (25%) of IFAs are worried about the impact of a potential house price crash on their own business. Despite this, over a quarter (27%) of advisers have had more calls regarding mortgages since the mini budget last year, with those who have seen an increase mostly hearing from clients seeking general advice on the current state of the market (68%), re-mortgaging (64%) and advice on what type of mortgage they could afford (32%).
When asked specifically about their views on first-time buyers, IFAs revealed that they believe their outlook on the current state of the housing market to be fairly negative. With changes to the housing market over the past 12 months in mind, only 10% of advisers think that more first-time buyers are feeling optimistic. On top of this, seven in 10 (69%) advisers think that more first-time buyers are holding off on making a purchase until house prices come down, and a further seven in 10 (70%) think more are waiting to get on the ladder until mortgage rates come down.
According to advisers, this pessimistic outlook also extends to buy-to-let property, with over seven in 10 (73%) IFAs stating fewer people are looking to purchase buy-to-let properties as a result of changes to the housing marketing in the last 12 months.
Alexa Nightingale, Head of Financial Services research at Opinium commented: “As the cost-of-living crisis continues, and with interest rates and inflation still sky high, it’s understandable that advisers have concerns about their clients being able to afford their mortgages. It’s a really tricky time for many financially, so it’s important that adviser remain in close communication with their clients, to provide guidance wherever possible.”
The research was carried out using Opinium’s IFA omnibus, the UK’s only dedicated research community of IFAs.