The council of mortgage lenders has released data that suggests that in the first quarter of 2016, the number of repossessions totalled 2,100, comprising 1,500 for home owners and 600 homes being repossessed which were buy-to-let properties. This means that the repossession rate is the lowest on record over recent times. If this rate continues throughout 2016, it will put the annual number of repossessions at 8,400, which is lower than any year since 1982. This is despite there being some 11.1 million mortgages in place today and a greater number of properties, rather than 6.9 million mortgages and fewer properties as was the case in 1982.
Mortgage arrears also continue to fall. For the first time in a decade mortgages and arrears of 2.5% or more was considerably lower than the 100,000 mark with some 96,200 loans in arrears at the end of the first quarter. This is down from nearly 102,000 at the end of December and over 111,000 at the first quarter in 2015.
Commenting on the new data, Council and Mortgage Lending Director General, Mr Paul Smee said: “We cannot completely avoid the risk of any individual household experiencing arrears or repossessions. Lenders continue to work very effectively to help their borrowers through periods of difficulty when they occur, and borrowers should be reassured that most cases of arrears can be resolved and will not lead to repossession. The key to dealing with difficulty is to tackle it early, and to communicate with your lender as soon as you think you may be facing problems.”
The council and mortgage lenders arrears and repossessions data for the second quarter of 2016 will be published on the 11th August 2016 and it will be very interesting to see if this trend of people effectively paying down debt, reducing debt and reducing the levels of arrears as a general market movement, continues to take place.
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