A third of adults are struggling to pay their monthly rent or mortgage payments, new data shows.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) aim to show the impact of the increased cost of living on the public.
Its research found that between June and September, 30% of adults reported finding it difficult to afford their rent or mortgage.
That is up from 26% between March and June 2022.
A finance expert suggests this could prompt those struggling to consider downsizing in an effort to reduce their monthly mortgage repayments.
Commenting on the data, Rio Stedford, financial planning expert at Quilter, said: “Interest rates have been rising to try and combat rampant inflation. But due to fuel being thrown on the fire during the mini-Budget, interest rates are projected to rise even further later this year.
“Lenders have been quick to up their mortgage interest rates on all products, which means that homeowners with fixed rates coming to an end within the next year or two, will likely see their bills rise considerably when they come to the end of their deal.
“The option of moving to a smaller home to achieve lower monthly mortgage payments is starting to become a real consideration for some homeowners.
“However, before putting a house on the market, it is worth considering that if a flood of properties all hit the market at the same time, this could end up driving house prices down.”
Disabled adults were more likely than non-disabled adults to find it difficult to afford their energy bills, rent or mortgage payments, the research found.
They were also more likely to report being behind, the ONS said.
More than half – 55% – of disabled adults reported finding it difficult to afford their energy bills, and 36% found it difficult to afford their rent or mortgage payments compared with 40% and 27% of non-disabled people, respectively, in the latest pooled period.
The research also found that a higher proportion of ethnic minorities appear to report struggling with their rent or mortgage payments.
Renters were more likely than mortgage borrowers to struggle.
Around four in 10 renters found it difficult to afford their rent payments compared with 23% of mortgage borrowers who found it difficult to pay their mortgage.