Mortgage arrears and repossessions fall

Posted 22 November 2013

The number of houses and flats being repossessed fell to its lowest level since records began five years ago, in what is a further sign that residential property market conditions are going from strength to strength.

The figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) shows that 7,200 households lost their property in the third quarter of this year, after falling into severe mortgage arrears, down 5.3% quarter-on-quarter, and the lowest quarterly figure ever recorded by the CML.

The CML has now revised its predictions downwards, estimating that fewer than 30,000 repossessions will be recorded this year, down 5,000 on the volume forecast at the start of the year. If accurate, that would put the annual number at its lowest level since 2007, thanks partly to low interest rates and the improving state of the UK housing market.

In light of better-than-expected data, the CML also plans to revise down its previous estimation that there would be 37,000 repossessions for 2014 when the organisation's next housing market forecasts are published in December.

Paul Smee of CML said: "The continued reduction in payment difficulties is obviously very welcome."

The number of borrowers who are behind with their mortgage payments also fell to its lowest levels since summer 2008.

A total of 149,400 mortgages in the UK, representing 1.33% of lenders' mortgage stock, had arrears equivalent to more than 2.5% of their mortgage balance at the end of the third quarter. This latest quarterly arrears total shows that almost 10,000 fewer mortgages are in arrears compared with the third quarter of last year.



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