CSF: 57% of those not renting or owning experienced mental health issues during COVID

Jake Carter

November 1, 2021

mental health

Almost three-fifths (57%) of those who did not own or rent directly during the pandemic experienced difficulties with their mental health in the past 12 months, according to research by Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF).

The study Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic, found that this is a marked increase compared to those who owned a home with a mortgage (44%).

When compared to those who owned their property outright (26%), those living with friends and family were 31% more likely to have experienced difficulties.

Those living with family or friends, whether paying rent or not, were also more likely to have experienced difficulties with their personal finances in the past 12 months (35%) compared with those who owned a home (16%).

Geographical factors also played a part, with those living in traditionally blue-collar or industrial regions more likely to have struggled with their mental health and wellbeing in the past 12 months.

The North East and Yorkshire and the Humber were both marked at 50%, and the North West at 46%, in comparison the UK average was 42%.

In the hardest-hit sectors, such as hospitality and retail, 62% who had either lost work, were furloughed or unemployed during the pandemic had struggled with poor mental health, 17% higher than those who worked full-time.

The CSF mortgage broker survey found that 52% of brokers said keeping a work-life balance had been their biggest struggle during the pandemic, with mental health being their third biggest challenge (32%).

The study also showed that 55% of those aged under 44 had struggled with their mental health.

The age group of 25 to 34 was most likely to have experienced difficulties (57%), followed closely by 18 to 24 (55%).

This figure which dropped to 27% for those aged 55-plus, according to data from YouGov.

As well as this, 47% of women experienced difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic, higher than men (37%).

54% of UK adults who experienced struggles with their physical health during the pandemic said their mental health was ‘very negatively’ impacted also.

CSF asked mortgage brokers what their preferred modes of communication would be post-pandemic; 67% said phone calls, 57% said face-to-face, and 56% said virtual meetings.

Jason Berry, group sales marketing director at CSF, said: “The impact of COVID on peoples mental health largely relates to age and location, as well as to whether they rent or are homeowners.

“Our data shows that the least affected group has been over 55s who are employed and own a property.

“I believe going forward for the industry, collaboration will be the most important factor, through people networking and lenders encouraging the use of tech, this will lead to the consumers being offered a better product.

“If a deal cannot be placed, then through collaboration it needs to be referred so there is a chance of it being completed elsewhere, improving the overall experience for the consumer.

“Looking to next year, I can see remortgages, second charge and Permitted Development all having a good year.

“I think that purchases will likely be down and vanilla cases will struggle.”

Jo Breeden, managing director at CSF, added: “I expect there to be a real search for property yield next year in the market.

“Prices are at an all time high and this presents an opportunity to investors.

“Bridging is a wealth creation product, and while higher in price, it provides a monitory gain for the user, so I expect it to be popular into next year.

“Costs are at an all time low and arrangement fees are also at a low, so while the market remains at this level, I can only see demand rising.

“With the requirements of buy-to-let landlords to increase their property’s EPC ratings to a minimum of a C by 2025, I expect bridging to be used here as a refurbishment product.

“Distributors have revealed the importance of upskilling, lender appetite and the demand for the specialist market, which is something we intend to act on.

“Looking to the base rate, I expect the Bank of England to implement a marginal rise next year.”

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