One in two mortgage borrowers fear losing their homes as rates soar

14 Jul 2023

EMBARGO: 22:30 Tuesday 11th July 

  • Poll reveals 46% of mortgage borrowers worried about losing their home

  • Six in ten mortgage borrowers worried about cutting down on food bills as mortgage rates soar

  • Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey calls for action to address “mortgage ticking time bomb”

Almost one in two mortgage borrowers are now worried about losing their home because of soaring bills, a shocking new poll has revealed.

It comes as the average two-year fixed mortgage rate reaches a new 15-year high of 6.66 per cent.

The polling from Savanta, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, shows 46% of adults with a mortgage said they were worried about losing their home because of unpaid bills in June.

A staggering six in ten mortgage borrowers are worried about having to cut down on food bills because of higher housing costs. 45% were worried about having to borrow from a friend or family to cover a bill, while 48% were worried about having to cancel a holiday. 

The Liberal Democrats are calling for a Mortgage Protection Fund, which would offer targeted support of up to £300 a month to those families facing the steepest rise in mortgage costs and in danger of losing their homes. This would be based on past schemes and be fully paid for by reversing Conservative tax cuts to big banks.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

“Millions of homeowners are worried sick about losing their home to soaring mortgage rates, all because of the chaos unleashed by this Conservative government. 

“Rishi Sunak is refusing to lift a finger to help, instead treating homeowners like collateral damage.

“It’s clear we need targeted support to prevent families losing their homes through no fault of their own. There is a mortgage ticking time bomb about to go off and it cannot be ignored any longer.”



Methodology: Savanta interviewed 2,348 UK adults aged 18+ online between 23rd and 25th June 2023. This includes 514 people with a mortgage. Data were weighted to be representative of the UK by age, sex, region and social grade.

Table 1: To what extent, if at all, are you worried about the following as a result of higher housing costs (i.e. rent, mortgage bills):

Respondents who own with a mortgage or loan


NET: Worried in June 2023

Having to cut down on food bills 


Defaulting on a payment 


Having to borrow from a friend or family to cover a bill


Losing your home because of unpaid bills


Having to cancel a holiday to cover a bill


Having to cancel a DIY project to cover a bill


Having to downsize to a smaller property



Mortgage Protection Fund 

  • The Liberal Democrats are calling for an emergency ‘Mortgage Protection Fund’, paid for by reversing Conservative tax cuts for banks, to protect families falling into arrears or facing repossession as a result of soaring interest rates.

  • The fund would be targeted towards homeowners on the lowest incomes and those seeing the sharpest rises in mortgage rates. Those whose mortgage payments rise by more than 10% of their household income would be eligible for grants to help cover the cost of that rise, paid monthly. These payments would be capped at £300 a month.

  • The Conservatives have cut taxes for the big banks by more than £3 billion a year since 2016, through cuts to both the Bank Levy and Bank Surcharge. The Liberal Democrats would reverse these cuts so that big banks pay their fair share.

  • The ‘Mortgage Protection Fund’ would be a temporary scheme to tackle the current problem of soaring mortgage rates. It would initially be introduced for a year, and the Government would need to review the need for it next year depending on the situation with mortgage rates.

  • Similar emergency support to help homeowners at risk of losing their homes was introduced by the Government in 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis, including the Mortgage Rescue Scheme, Homeowners Mortgage Support scheme and changes to the existing Support for Mortgage Interest scheme.

  • The Liberal Democrats are also calling for protections for renters including an immediate ban of no fault evictions, a national register of landlords and the temporary reintroduction of pandemic-era measures protecting renters from evictions over rent-arrears and extending the mandatory notice period given by landlords.





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