Interest rate rises have pushed up mortgage interest payments for first-time buyers to their highest levels for 15 years, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) .
The data shows that in April first-time buyers paid 18.7% of their income on mortgage interest. This is the highest level since 1992 and up from 18.3% in March and 16.3% in April last year.
Rising rates have also affected home movers, who paid 16.3% of their income on mortgage interest in April - also the highest level since 1992.
Borrowers will see further increases in the proportion of income they spend on mortgage interest payments once May's interest rate rise kicks in, despite the Bank of England’s decision last week to hold rates at 5.5%.
A growing number of first-time buyers also have to pay stamp duty. In April, 58% of first-time buyers paid tax on their purchase up from 51% in April 2006.
Almost 80% of all mortgages are fixed-rate deals, according to CML. In April 88% of first-time buyers took out a fixed-rate loan, down from the record 89% in March. Home movers are following suit, with 72% taking out a fixed-rate mortgage in April.
Michael Coogan, CML director general, says: "Month on month we see affordability constraints for first-time buyers worsening. And with the impact of May's interest rate rise still to be felt, many borrowers face higher costs in the coming months. The vast majority of borrowers will be able to absorb higher mortgage payments.”
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