Nationwide releases new figures
Over £50bn worth of interest only mortgage capital is due to be paid off by 2020, new research from Leeds Building Society has shown.
This figure represents just over 450,000 interest only mortgages in the UK and is more than one-third of the total outstanding UK interest only mortgage stock, currently standing at 1.6m mortgages.
Almost 136,000 interest only mortgages are due to mature this year alone, with a value of almost £16 billion.
Leeds Building Society, the UK’s fifth largest building society, conducted the research with the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) to better understand the existing scale of interest only borrowing in the UK. This research highlights just how many borrowers in the UK are addressing their interest only mortgage, either through switching to a repayment mortgage or identifying an alternative strategy to pay off their mortgage ahead of its natural maturity date.
Richard Fearon, Chief Commercial Officer of Leeds Building Society, said: “We firmly believe there’s a place for interest only alongside repayment mortgages. In today’s market, every borrower’s repayment strategy is carefully assessed to ensure it’s adequate to repay the capital they owe. It is pleasing to see from our research that many borrowers are addressing their individual repayment strategies and that the interest only back book is shrinking ahead of schedule. This is testament to the hard work of the lenders, regulators and the CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders) for raising awareness among borrowers of the need for them to consider how they will repay their loan at the end of the term.”
Cebr used the most current data from the CML on how many interest only mortgages are outstanding in the UK and then forecast the pace of redemptions based on expected consumer behaviour, to examine how much capital is expected to be paid off over the coming years.
A greater choice of mortgage products and lenders proactively contacting borrowers to discuss repayment plans could have prompted borrowers to switch to a repayment mortgage or pay off their mortgage quicker; equally the historic low interest rate environment could have helped some borrowers make their decision.
Richard Fearon concluded: “There are circumstances during some homeowners’ lives where an interest only mortgage product suits their needs and situation well, but these do change and there are alternative options available to borrowers should they wish to reassess their method of repayment. If a borrower currently on an interest only mortgage feels it’s not best serving their needs, or believes they may not be able to repay the capital when their term ends, they should speak to their lender or mortgage broker to assess whether their chosen repayment strategy is still adequate.”