House of Commons Library

Household Debt: Key Economic Indicators

Published Friday, January 10, 2020

Household debt: Data on the latest household debt statistics, including net lending, mortgage interest rates and insolvencies.

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Household debt as a % of disposable income

Household debt peaked in Q2 2008 at 147% of household disposable income. It then declined to 124% by late 2015.

Growth in household debt levels accelerated from early 2016, so that the debt-to-income ratio rose again to 128% by mid-2017. In Q3 2019 it was 126.6%.

Statistical note: The household debt and income source data were changed in May. Previously debt and income totals included the non-profit sector (mostly charities and universities). The new data reflects only individuals in the household sector. The overall historical trends are unchanged. For more see Box 1 in the Library paper on household debt.

Current average mortgage interest rates

The average Standard Variable Rate (SVR) was 4.28% in December 2019, down from 4.40 a year ago.

The average 2-year fixed mortgage rate was 1.45% in December 2019, down 0.28% points on the year.

mortgage rates

Individual insolvencies, England and Wales

There were 30,879 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in Q3 2019, slightly up on the previous quarter, and up 23% on the same period in 2018. Insolvencies in the last four quarters have been at their highest level since Q4 2010.

In Scotland, there were 3,466 individual insolvencies in Q3 2019, up 13% on the year.

In Northern Ireland, there were 718 individual insolvencies in Q3 2019, up 34% on the year.

Commons Briefing papers SN02885

Author: Chris Rhodes

Topics: Economic situation, Financial services, Incomes and poverty

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