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This document focusses on standard official sources. For more timely data on the economy, see the Library briefing Coronavirus: Latest economic data.

Household debt as a % of disposable income

Household debt peaked in Q2 2008 at 150.1% of household disposable income. It then declined to 126.5% by late 2015.

Growth in household debt levels accelerated from early 2016, so that the debt-to-income ratio rose again to 131.5% by mid-2017. In Q4 2020 it was 129.5%.

Statistical note: The household debt and income source data were changed in May 2019. Previously debt and income totals included the non-profit sector (mostly charities and universities). The new data reflects only individuals in the household sector. The overall historical trends are unchanged. For more see Box 1 in the Library paper on household debt.

Current average mortgage interest rates

The average Standard Variable Rate (SVR) was 3.6% in March 2021, down 0.48% points on a year ago.

The average 2-year fixed mortgage rate was 1.56% in March 2021, up 0.16% on a year ago. 

Individual insolvencies, England and Wales

There were 31,059 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in Q4 2020, up by 11,304 on the previous quarter. This is the largest increase since the current series began in 2010, reversing the previous quarter’s record decrease.

The Q4 2020 level is 9.4% higher than the level in Q3 2019.

In Scotland, there were 2,053 individual insolvencies in Q4 2020, 38% lower than a year before.

In Northern Ireland, there were 378 individual insolvencies in Q4 2020, down 42% on the year.

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