Relationship breakdown is typically a feature of the New Year. A not-so-festive period and an inability to hide from the reality of a poor relationship cause simmering problems to boil. The BBC article points to the fact that the same ingredients, spiced with home-schooling and financial pressures, have been boiling away quietly for months in lockdown. 

Relationship breakdown is one of the leading causes of mortgage default and, although levels are yet to spike up dramatically, this development is concerning. Rising unemployment coupled with relationship breakdown will undoubtedly drive default levels higher for mortgage banks over the next 18 months. The banks will hope that cautious lending policies over the last ten years will protect them from significant loss though much will depend on the resilience of the housing market.