Interactive Investor

Rent burden highlighted in cost-of-living crisis

14th July 2023 15:14

by Myron Jobson from interactive investor

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The latest ONS data shows ethnic minorities and single parents are the worst hit.

Young woman looking thoughtful

Commenting, Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor, says: “The ONS data showed that ethnic minorities were worst hit by the uptick in the cost of housing, with a much larger proportion of people from these groups saying they were struggling to afford rent and mortgage payments.

“Around a half of Asian or Asian British adults (53%), Black, African, Caribbean or Black British adults (47%) said affording their rent or mortgage payments was difficult, compared with 33% among white adults.

“Many single parents are struggling too - 47% said they found it tough to meet housing costs, compared with 36% among households where at least two adults live with a child.

“These stats are sobering and underline the fact that while the cost-of-living storm does not discriminate, there are groups who are feeling the squeeze on budget more acutely.

“Those who are struggling financially needn’t suffer in silence. Don’t be afraid to ask for support.

“The various cost-of-living support schemes and measures to ease the inflationary crunch on budgets, including the cost-of-living payments, spread across 2023-24, are worth up to £900 and the Household Support fund is distributed by local authorities. It is worth consulting a debt advice charity such as StepChange or Turn2Us and they will go through all your options.”

Renting woes

Myron Jobson says: “The ferocious run-up in rents in recent history exerts an unwelcome strain on the already precarious financial situations of many amid the cost-of-living storm. Those with modest incomes have found themselves wrestling with escalating rental costs, forcing them to sacrifice a sizeable portion of their hard-earned income to keep a roof over their heads. This leaves them with less money for other essential needs or even indulge in discretionary spending.

“Landlords at the end of their fixed-rate mortgage term are not immune from the mortgage mayhem triggered by market expectations that interest rates will rise even higher than initial forecasts and stay higher for longer. They will experience an instant uptick in their outgoings when they refinance. There is a limit to landlords’ ability to bear increasing costs, as such, many will inevitably pass on the heightened cost burden to tenants.

“As long as mortgage rates remain elevated, more Britons will be inclined to rent rather than taking the plunge into home ownership. This, in turn, places upwards pressure on rental prices, exacerbating the overall affordability crisis.

“It is becoming increasingly important for tenants to plan ahead to ensure they don’t find themselves in a position where they can no longer afford their rent.”

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