A warning has been issued by a business consultancy that renters are set to feel particularly vulnerable this year because of the cost of living crisis.
Hargreaves Lansdown, citing government figures, says in March almost a quarter of people in all tenures found it difficult or very difficult to pay household bills. This is up from 17 per cent in November.
Likewise 87 per cent of people reported an increase in the cost of living in March. This is up from 62 per cent in November.
And 17 per cent of people reported borrowing more money or using more credit than they did a year ago.
Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “Pretty much everyone is feeling the pinch but those on lower incomes are particularly badly affected with prices rising fastest on life’s essentials such as food and heating bills.
“People report trying to use less fuel as a means of keeping costs down and there are also signs people are cutting back on their food shops. However, people can only cut back so far on these things so there is precious little room for manoeuvre.
“So far, the current situation hasn’t translated into people falling behind with rents or mortgages – only around three per cent of people have reported this, a figure that has remained largely stable.
“However, this could be because people are burning through their lockdown savings in a bid to meet their day to day living costs while others opt to borrow more to meet their needs.
“Mortgage payers have had the option to fix their costs in recent months, but those who rent will feel very exposed to further increases in the coming months.”
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