Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Credit crunch hits cash-strapped home-owners

11.12.2008
Homeowners have drawn on their biggest asset, the roof over their heads, not to fund ‘champagne moments’ but to get through hard times; that’s the finding of a new study by Durham University.

Mortgage equity withdrawal is a much more popular and frequent event than previously thought. New figures show that borrowers haven’t just used their housing equity to splash out on holidays or cars; struggling households have borrowed against their homes to meet their basic needs like bringing up the kids.

Durham University researchers looked at the borrowing patterns of over 8000 households in the UK from 2001-2005. They found that in any one year, 2 in 5 homeowners ended up with higher mortgages than in the previous year, even though they had not moved home. Instead they had re-mortgaged or extended their existing home loan. On average, these households borrowed an additional £5000 to £7500 in a given year. Some of them tapped into as much as three-quarters of their home equity in this way.

Durham University housing expert Susan Smith said: “The Credit Crunch is a welfare disaster for struggling households who have previously relied on the option to borrow up against the value of their home.

“In the early years of this century we saw a form of self-administered welfare payment develop where home-owners cash in on their homes, in boom times: to support children, smooth over a fall in income, or meet the costs of relationship breakdown.”

The Durham research team - Dr. Beverley Searle and Professor Susan Smith – has linked up with Australia’s RMIT University to research and compare the mortgage choices of UK and Australian homeowners over the same four years (2001-2005). This was a period with rising house prices and easy credit and there are more similarities than differences in the two countries.

The research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, uses panel survey data that tracks the same households through every year. This ongoing study is monitoring what prompts households’ use of a growing range of flexible mortgages and low cost refinancing opportunities to draw from housing wealth, and release money to spend on other things.

The findings show that this facility – to borrow against housing wealth cheaply, easily and without moving home – is a factor in the recent escalation of personal debt. However, these findings also suggest that the popular perception of equity withdrawal is not always used for life’s luxuries - it’s used to meet more basic needs.

Professor Smith said “This suggest that the credit crunch is not just precipitating a crisis in the finance community; it could produce a crisis of welfare too. Without the option to use mortgages to channel housing wealth into spending money, families under pressure lose access to their most significant asset base for welfare and are forced to look at other ways of getting by.

“The figures show that housing equity withdrawal has provided a lifeline for struggling families but the credit crunch threatens what has become a new form of self-administered welfare.”

Claire Whitelaw | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk
http://www.durham.ac.uk

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht How Strong Brands Translate into Money
15.11.2016 | Kühne Logistics University - Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Logistik und Unternehmensführung

nachricht Demographic change depresses tax revenues
04.11.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>