Media Release: Increasing pressure on homeowners puts estimated one in six British households on a knife edge

ONE in six British households is estimated to be already struggling to pay their mortgage – according to new research from Shelter Scotland.

Begins a spokesperson: “The Britain-wide YouGov survey revealed three million mortgage holders were constantly struggling to pay their mortgage – equivalent to one in six.

“The 18 per cent of homeowners now constantly struggling is in stark contrast to just ten per cent of people who said they were constantly struggling this time last year across Britain (2).

“One in three (33 per cent) homeowners in Scotland are ‘worried’ or ‘very worried’ about meeting their mortgage payments, equivalent to 512,173 households (3).

“Statistics for Scotland lay bare the fear households have about losing their home ahead of figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders tomorrow, which are expected to show thousands are still losing their homes every month.

“Despite repossession levels not being as high as predicted, they are still the highest annual levels the UK has seen since the mid 1990’s. The number of people already in more than 12 months of arrears has more than trebled in the last two years (4).”

Graeme Brown, director, Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity, said:

“This research highlights that hundreds of thousands of households across Scotland are living with the constant worry about keeping up with their mortgage.

“Add to this the forthcoming cuts from the UK Government and the fact that unemployment is still increasing in Scotland, a rise in people facing homelessness looks dangerously imminent.

“We know from the cases we see every day that it only takes one problem, like a bout of illness, or redundancy, to tip people over the edge and into a spiral of mounting debt and arrears.

“This should act as a stark warning to the Scottish Government ahead of the forthcoming budget.

“These figures show how vital it is that frontline services which will help prevent homelessness are not cut and the need for housing to be at the top of the political agenda.”

Call Shelter Scotland’s free helpline on 0808 800 4444 or visit to get advice or make a donation today.


Notes to Editors:

1. Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter Scotland believes that everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.

2. This compares to ten per cent of adults surveyed who own their own home paying a mortgage who were asked the exact question in an online YouGov survey of 5,438 adults, carried out between 23rd – 26th October 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

3. This is calculated using a base number of owner occupied homes in Scotland of 1,537,136 from the Scottish Government.

4. Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show there were 18,000 mortgages in 12 months or more of arrears at the end of Q2 2008 and 64,500 at the end of Q2 2010.

5. 36.7 per cent of adults surveyed said they owned their home paying a mortgage (equivalent to 17.4 million people – 2009 estimates from the Office of National Statistics indicate that there are 47.3 million adults in Great Britain (open Table 2 in the files available).

6. Of these, 17.8 per cent said they were keeping up with their mortgage payments, but it was a constant struggle or they were falling behind with payments. This equates to 3.1m adults in Britain.

7.  All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,234 adults, including 232 adults in Scotland. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th – 12th August 2010. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). Unless otherwise stated, the figures quoted relate to estimated numbers of households affected. These estimates are based on latest data from the Office of National Statistics which indicate that there are 2.31 million households in Scotland (based on projections for 2006 – Table 3.19 Household numbers and projections

8. Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.

9. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Shelter Scotland. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.




Contact: Neil Baldwin, Nicola Baxter
Phone: 0844 515 2442