Property and mortgages

The number of home repossessions continues to fall

The number of house repossessions and mortgage arrears is continuing to fall, with figures for both at their lowest levels since records began.
According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) – which comprises banks, building societies and other lenders responsible for about 95% of the country’s residential mortgage lending in the UK – the second quarter of the year saw repossessions fall to 0.02%, which is equivalent one home loan in every 5,000.
In real terms, about 2,500 properties were repossessed between April and June. That figure is down from 3,000 during the first quarter of the year and from about 5,400 on the same period in 2014.
As far as arrears are concerned, there were 106,400 mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding mortgage balance. That represents a little less than 1% of all mortgages.
“Across all measures, mortgage arrears and repossessions are continuing to improve,” says CML director-general Paul Smee.
“This trend is very welcome. Low interest rates are acting as a significant support for homeowners in general, and are likely to be helping to stave off low-level arrears for stretched households in particular.”
Meanwhile, separate figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association show that the number of repossessions enforced by second-charge mortgage lenders fell by half during the second quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year.
Second-charge mortgages are secured loans that take secondary priority behind standard mortgages. Lenders that offer second-charge mortgages include banks, credit-card and store-card issuers and motor-finance providers, with the home used as collateral.