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Good news as arrears and repossessions fall again

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Mon 24 Aug 2015

Good news as arrears and repossessions fall again

 

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the repossession rate - already at its lowest since records began - continued to fall in the second quarter of 2015. During that period, the rate was 0.02% - equivalent to just 1 in 5,000 mortgages. Arrears also continued to fall.

There were 2,500 properties taken into possession in the second quarter, down from 3,000 the previous quarter and 5,400 in the second quarter of last year. Of these, 1,800 were in the owner-occupier market, and 700 in the buy-to-let market. However, as in the first quarter, the current flow of repossessions probably continues to remain lower than the underlying trend would imply, even though arrears are also falling.

In terms of arrears, the total number of mortgages with arrears equivalent to 2.5% or more of the mortgage balance was 106,400.This equated to 0.96% of all mortgages - again, the lowest rate since quarterly records began in 2008.

This is the first quarter in which the CML has been able to publish fully consistent data on arrears and possessions across both the owner-occupier and the buy-to-let markets. As a result of improvements to the underlying data surveys, some back data has been restated.

Of all loans with arrears of more than 2.5% of balance, 100,700 were owner-occupier, and 5,700 buy-to-let. In both the owner-occupier and buy-to-let markets, the number and proportion of mortgages in arrears fell or remained static in all arrears bands - none experienced a worsening.

CML Director General Paul Smee said: "Across all measures, mortgage arrears and repossessions are continuing to improve. We continue to see some amplification of the downward trend in repossessions, which may bring into question our repossessions forecast for 2015 as a whole.

 

This trend is very welcome. Low interest rates are acting as a significant support for home-owners in general, and are likely to be helping to stave off low level arrears for stretched households in particular. As ever, we urge borrowers to think ahead to when interest rates rise, and to contact their lender without delay if they are in difficulty - prompt action helps to prevent problems worsening."