Wednesday, October 3, 2012

UK households confirm that cost of their mortgage is their risk free savings rate

The Telegraph reports that UK households continue to pay down their mortgages faster than required.

This confirms your humble blogger's observation that when central banks pursue zero interest rate and quantitative easing policies, households recognize that paying off their debt allows them to pocket a much higher risk free return than they could achieve investing the money.

Households injected £9.8bn into their properties in the three months to June as borrowers persisted with efforts to repay their debts. 
Bank of England figures showed that there was the net housing equity injection for a seventeenth quarter in a row, with the sums creeping back up to the record high of £10.2bn in spring 2011. Since the second quarter of 2008, households have repaid a total £133bn of mortgage debt..... 
Howard Archer, UK economist at IHS Global Insight said the data suggested “that there is an ongoing strong desire and perceived need of many people to improve their personal financial balance sheets given high debt levels and ongoing serious concerns over the economic situation and jobs”. 
“Extremely low savings interest rates have undeniably made it much more attractive for many people to use any spare funds that they have to reduce their mortgages. In particular, many people may be using the extra money that is resulting from their very low mortgage interest payments to reduce the balance that they still owe on their houses.” 

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