February 7, 2024


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A new source of economic anxiety in Britain: soaring mortgage rates

In June 2021, Monique Foulger reached a major milestone: At 30 years old, she bought her first home, a modest one-bedroom flat in Croydon in South London.

Barely a year and a half later, she’s bracing for a nearly 80% jump in her monthly mortgage payments.

Sharp increases in interest rates are set to upend Britain’s housing market and rock the country’s already weak economy. Britain’s homeowners are especially vulnerable because most mortgages have short-term fixed rates, which renew every few years, often every two or five years. For more than a decade, ultralow interest rates let British homeowners hop carefree from one low rate to another.