81% of homeowners still do not understand mortgage fees, survey finds

81% of British homeowners lack knowledge about the fees associated with buying a home and securing a mortgage, a survey conducted by David Wilson Homes has revealed.

Almost one million mortgages will be up for renewal before September 2024, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistics.

That means almost one million people will struggle to research mortgage deals around a turbulent market. 

The survey conducted by David Wilson Homes revealed that 91% were unfamiliar with higher lending charges, and 85% were unfamiliar with early repayment charges (ERCs). 

More than half (54%) were unfamiliar with Stamp Duty. 

Terry Higgins, group managing director at TNHG, said: “Taking out a mortgage is a big financial commitment, and one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll take in your life.

“For many, this can feel overwhelming just working out where to start.

“Speaking to a good mortgage broker as early as possible in the process will help you to understand not just how much you can borrow, but also how much deposit you’ll need and what other costs you will be expected to pay.

“Ultimately, all of this could impact the size of your deposit.

“If you are not aware of what fees you could be expected to pay then this could impact the size of your deposit.

“For example, the amount of stamp duty you will have to pay not only depends on your circumstances, but also where you are buying.

“This differs between England, Wales and Scotland.”

Higgins added: “Legal fees and associated costs like local authority searches, called disbursements, form a large part of the initial fees that need to be paid.

“Yet, these are often overlooked or not fully understood.

“The advice I would give is to speak to an independent mortgage adviser as early as possible in the house buying process, and they can explain all associated costs personalised to you including when you need to pay them.”