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Payments to rise as proportion of income

Economists warn that mortgage payments could rise as a proportion of take-home pay by almost one-third.

Nationwide&#39s October 2003 House Price Index suggests that if the base rate rises next week, as many analysts expect, payments as a proportion of take-home pay will rise to between 29% and 32%, compared with 27% now.

The report also shows house prices rose by 2% in October with the average property price now standing at £131,947, up from £130,473 in September.

With typical income multiples rising from 2.6 to 2.9 x in 12 months and controversy over self-certification affordability, some commentators see storm clouds ahead.

Vince Cable MP, Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor, says: “People borrowing at the edge of their means may get clobbered in the next few years.”

Nationwide group economist Alex Bannister adds: “Rate rises will cause the market to slow but decisions on taxation in next year&#39s Budget could prove considerably more influential.”

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