Mortgage-holders lost on average seven and a half hours of shut-eye during the mortgage process, adding up to a staggering 11 million hours of missed sleep across the nation each year due to the anxiety it causes, online mortgage broker Habito has found.
More than two thirds (67%) of homeowners – 5.4 million (3) – have suffered from mortgage application-related anxiety with more than a third (35%) of homeowners citing sleeplessness as one of the top symptoms of ‘mortgage stress’.
Other contributing factors are the length of time it takes to complete the process, anxiety about eligibility, having to provide private documents, the overall expense of getting a mortgage and confusing jargon.
Daniel Hegarty, founder and chief executive of Habito, said: “Our report into mortgage stress is a sobering reminder that the mortgage industry is still short-changing customers on far too many levels.
“Our findings show that people are experiencing hellish levels of stress and anxiety, which can and should be avoided.
“According to the results, length of time was the number one driver of stress. As a leading free online mortgage broker, we are doubling our efforts to combine our cutting-edge technology and personalised expert advice to drive down the length of time people have to spend financing their home.”
Nearly one in five (19%) claimed to have been completely overwhelmed by the process. Most alarmingly, one in six (16%) reported feeling sad throughout the process and one in 20 (6%) sought help from a mental health professional or GP. This figure rises to one in 10 for homeowners aged 25-34 years old.
Further symptoms of mortgage stress included mood swings (the second highest after sleeplessness at 30%) while one in five (20%) recounted having more arguments with their partner, snapping at friends and family (6% and 12% respectively) and decreased libido (one in 20).
Most mortgage applicants admitted to feeling preoccupied by the process, with a third (34%) saying they worried about their mortgage application at least once a day.
Habito has partnered with Love Island’s Dr Alex George to shine a spotlight on the issue of mortgage stress along with its hellish symptoms.
Together they have created the Oh Hellpline for first-time buyers, remortgagers and movers to get hints and tips on how to get mortgage-fit.
George said: “As a recent first-time buyer, I know all too well the stress and anxiety that a mortgage process can cause.
“I nearly lost my flat because of an administrative issue and my relationship with my housemate was put under a lot of strain.
“My advice to anyone about to begin their application is take time to understand the process and inform yourself about what you will need to provide. Speak to family and friends for support and visit a free online mortgage broker, like Habito, who can help get you on the right path.”