Scotland’s Mortgage Freedom date slips two days

14 March 2017

By today, 14 March, new borrowers1 will have earned enough to cover the annual cost of their mortgage repayments2, Bank of Scotland has calculated. Based on the average Scottish annual mortgage repayment cost of £5,134 and the average net annual income of £25,9253, this potential ‘Mortgage Freedom Day’ is only two days later than last year, thanks to average mortgage rates continuing to fall.

Scotland is the first UK region to reach its Mortgage Freedom Day, with Northern Ireland following on the day after.

For Local Authority Districts (LADs), home owners in West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire are the first to reach their potential Mortgage Freedom Day in Scotland - 26 February - due to lower mortgage repayments to net earnings. They are closely followed by East Ayrshire (28 February). (See table 1)

Those LADs where house prices, and therefore mortgage payments, are highest have to wait the longest to reach their potential Mortgage Freedom Day. Wednesday 29 March will be the last Mortgage Freedom Day in Scotland, this time for the City of Edinburgh. Last year East Lothian was the last LAD to reach their Mortgage Freedom Day, and on the very same date, however they now achieve this on 28 March. (See table 2)

Graham Blair, Mortgage Director at Bank of Scotland said: “Not many of us probably think about how many months’ salary we would need to earn before we covered our mortgage payments for the whole year, but calculating the potential Mortgage Freedom Day gives a good indication of the current housing market and employment.

“In 2016, the falling cost of mortgage repayments meant Scotland’s Mortgage Freedom Day was ten days earlier than in 2015, which was good news for new borrowers. This year it is virtually unchanged from 2016, occurring just two days later. Although average house price grew by just under 9% during the year, mortgage rates have fallen to record lows whilst rising net earnings has helped mortgage affordability.”