Time to celebrate mortgage freedom day

Have you reached mortgage freedom day? That's the day of the year where borrowers have earned enough money to cover their mortgage payments for the rest of the year.

According to the Halifax, April 16 is the average date for mortgage freedom for the whole of the UK.

Big gap between north and south

But based on borrowing and regional incomes, the date varies across the nation and there's a big north-south gap.

Homeowners with mortgages in Copeland in Cumbria were the first to celebrate mortgage freedom day this year on February 18, taking just 49 days of 2019 to earn enough to cover their repayments.

But those who live in the south have a bit longer to go before they can celebrate. Residents in the London borough of Brent will have to wait until September 5.

Based on income and repayments

The Halifax research is based on the current average annual mortgage repayment of £8,729 and the average net annual income, which is £28,752.

Mortgage freedom day in 2018 was also April 16, reflecting little change in affordability for home owners as wage growth and house prices remain stable.

Comparisons for affordability

Andy Bickers is mortgages director at Halifax. He said: "If every penny earned this year went towards their mortgage, today would be the day that the average UK borrower could celebrate paying off their mortgage for the year.

"While on its own the significance of this date is hard to comprehend, comparing mortgage freedom days year to year allows for quick comparisons on affordability; specifically how much people are earning against how much they are spending on their mortgage.

"As reported last year, the north-south divide remains. The difference between the earliest and latest Mortgage Freedom day, Copeland in the north-west against Brent in London, is over seven months."

The regional breakdown of mortgage freedom day for 2019 from the Halifax:

North

March 17, 2019

Yorkshire and the Humber

March 24, 2019

North-west

March 22, 2019

East Midlands

April 7, 2019

West Midlands

April 14, 2019

East Anglia

April 18, 2019

South-west

May 5, 2019

South-east

May 22, 2019

London

June 20, 2019

Wales

April 1, 2019

Scotland

March 8, 2019

Northern Ireland

March 12, 2019

UK average

April 16, 2019