"Despite only a small shift, borrowers this year have on average earned enough to meet their mortgage payments for the rest of the year three days earlier in 2017"
Today marks UK Mortgage Freedom Day, the day homeowners will have earned enough to pay off the annual cost of their mortgage.
Halifax research reveals that today homeowners have earned sufficient, on average, to cover their mortgage payment for the rest of 2018 - three days earlier than in 2018.
This is based on the average annual mortgage repayment cost of £8,039 and the average net annual income of £27,7243.
There is a wide variation in Mortgage Freedom Days across the country, with a gap of two months between when homeowners in Northern Ireland ‘celebrate’ on 10 March compared to those in England on 9 May.
The research highlighted another divide across the regions, with those in the North, Yorkshire and Humber and the North West all reaching Mortgage Freedom Day in March, while Londoners have to wait until 13 June.
At local authority district level, new borrowers in Copeland, in the North West, reached ‘mortgage freedom’ first on 24 February 2018.
Brent homeowners don’t reach freedom until 11 August, preceded by those in Haringey (9 August) and Harrow (30 July).
Andy Bickers, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “Despite only a small shift, borrowers this year have on average earned enough to meet their mortgage payments for the rest of the year three days earlier in 2017 – a positive step considering a mortgage is often the greatest financial commitment we make in a lifetime.
“Homeowners are overall better off than renters, with ‘Rental Freedom’ Day falling more than two weeks later for the second year running. First-time buyers in particular are saving £900 a year buying a home than renting.
“The North-South divide remains when it comes to Mortgage Freedom Day, with homeowners in the North reaching mortgage freedom up to three months earlier than their southern counterparts.”