Three quarters say rent payments should be proof someone can afford a mortgage

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
June 10, 2022, 7:45 AM GMT+0

Such a view is widely supported across social and voting groups

Yesterday the government set out a series of housing policies designed to boost home ownership, including the extension of right to buy and allowing recipients of housing benefit to use those welfare payments to pay for a mortgage.

While this latter policy in particular has been widely derided, many will agree with Boris Johnson’s claim that it should be easier to get a mortgage.

A common complaint among aspiring housebuyers is that mortgage lenders refuse to accept that a history of paying rent is proof that a person can afford to keep up payments on a mortgage. This is despite the fact that renting a property would often be more expensive than owning it – indeed, the government’s own figures suggest 50% of renters could afford the monthly cost of a mortgage.

A YouGov poll conducted in February shows that three quarters of Britons (76%) think that banks and other mortgage lenders should accept a history of regular rent payments as proof of affordability when it comes to applying for a mortgage.

A mere 6% of people say they should not, with 17% unsure.

That mortgage payments should be acceptable to mortgage lenders as proof of affordability is widely held across all social groups and voting groups.

A separate YouGov study in January found that most Britons also support interventionist policies to tackle the housing crisis, including councils being empowered to seize and resell empty homes.

See the full results here

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