The big daddy of housing bubbles looks like it might be in some trouble. Over the last six months, there has been a surge in late mortgage payments. As we all know, today's late payment is tomorrow's foreclosure. The UK housing market is probably 18 months behind the market here in the US.

460,000 mortgage payments missed in the past six months as interest rates bite

Mortgage customers are feeling the pain as interest rates rise with more than 460,000 missing monthly payments in the past six months, new research shows...

Around 77,000 mortgage payments are being missed every month, the independent financial comparison website says. And it fears the number could be set to rise as the Bank of England continues to pile on the pressure.

The results of similar research conducted by in January this year revealed that homeowners were defaulting on their mortgage at a rate of around 36,000 a month throughout 2006. The company says the new figures suggest the rate of missed mortgage bills is close to doubling this year.

The Bank of England base rate has been increased by 1.25 per cent to the current 5.75 per cent since August 2006 with experts predicting that more rises could be on the way. Inevitably that has pushed up rates on tracker mortgages and standard variable rates as well as making it more expensive for people whose fixed rate deal has come to an end.

Council of Mortgage Lenders figures for the end of 2006 showed around 59,000 mortgages were three to six months in arrears.