As we delve into the financial landscape of April 2024, The Money Charity’s latest statistics paint a comprehensive picture of the UK’s economic dynamics and consumer behavior.

Personal Debt in the UK

The burden of personal debt in the UK remains significant, with individuals collectively owing £1,841.2 billion as of February 2024. On average, each household carries a total debt of £65,569, including mortgages, while the per-adult debt stands at £34,617, representing approximately 99.2% of average earnings. Despite a decrease of £1.48 billion in net mortgage lending, consumer credit lending saw an increase of £5.91 million.

Mortgages, Rent, and Housing

Outstanding mortgage lending reached £1,619 billion by February 2024, accompanied by an average mortgage interest rate of 3.49%. This translates to an annual mortgage interest payment averaging £5,256 per household. Meanwhile, the housing market saw fluctuations, with the average house price for first-time buyers in Great Britain recorded at £234,654, reflecting a marginal annual decrease of -0.3%. Conversely, private rental prices surged by 9.2% in the 12 months leading to March 2024, adding pressure on renters.

Spending and Loans

Cash remains a cornerstone of financial transactions, with an average of 44.8 cash machine transactions occurring every second in March 2024. However, there has been a 5.5% decrease compared to the previous year. Furthermore, the number of ATMs experienced a decline, falling from 50,300 at the end of 2022 to 47,711 by the end of 2023, signaling a shift in consumer banking habits. Household expenditure on essential utilities remains substantial, with UK households collectively spending £96.43 million daily on water, electricity, and gas in Q4 2023. Additionally, credit card debt remains prevalent, with 50.5% of credit card balances bearing interest as of January 2024.

Financial Inclusion

Despite advancements in digital banking, financial inclusion remains a challenge for some segments of the population. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reports that 1.1 million adults in the UK lack a bank account, while 3.1 million individuals relied predominantly on cash payments in the last 12 months. Access to the internet also poses a barrier, with 1.5 million households lacking connectivity as of March 2021. The socio-economic impact of financial exclusion is profound, with the poverty premium estimated to cost a typical parliamentary constituency £4.5 million annually, equating to over £430 per low-income household.

In summary, the Money Statistics for April 2024 provide valuable insights into the financial dynamics shaping the UK economy, highlighting both challenges and opportunities for individuals and policymakers alike. As the economic landscape continues to evolve, addressing issues of debt, housing affordability, and financial inclusion remains paramount for fostering long-term prosperity and stability.

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Last Update: April 30, 2024