336% increase in page views for help.
The impact of higher mortgages costs has been revealed by new data from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).
The charity’s data report for June found that online page views for advice around schemes to help with mortgage payments increased by 88% between May and June, and 336% from June 2022 to June 2023. The page is at its highest ever level.
Also reaching a record level in June was the page “What to do if you can’t pay your mortgage” with over 3,000 unique page views.
Demand for advice on mortgage or secured loan arrears was also at its highest ever level across the CAB network with an increase of 28% between June 2022 and June 2023.
Interest rates have risen 13 times in a row, to 5 per cent as of July 2023.
The average two-year fixed-rate homeowner mortgage on the market has topped 6 per cent in the last month. In May it was estimated around 120,000 households in Scotland are set to see their fixed rate mortgages expire this year.
CAS social justice spokesperson, David Hilferty, said: “This latest data from the Citizens Advice network shows the impact of the mortgage crisis continues to reach new levels, with record demand for advice on mortgage related issues both in CABs and on our online advice pages.
“With many people seeing their fixed rate deals expire this year, it’s understandable that this is causing concern and anxiety across the country. Meanwhile people on variable or tracker rate mortgages will already have taken a hit.
“It’s really important to understand that none of this is happening in a vacuum. People facing higher housing costs are also facing higher bills for their weekly food shop and have gone through a long hard winter of higher energy bills.
“That means many have, through no fault of their own, fallen into debt to simply keep up with essential bills, but successive interest rate increases means new lines of credit are potentially more expensive.
“It’s a vicious cycle that appears to be trapping more and more people.”