You are here: Home - Mortgages - Remortgage - News -

Repossessions drop to lowest level since 1980

Written by:
The number of homes taken into possession by mortgage lenders has fallen to the lowest level in almost forty years, data from UK Finance has revealed.

In total 4,580 homeowner possessions took place in 2018, the lowest figure since the 3,480 repossessions in 1980. However, UK Finance noted there are significantly more outstanding homeowner mortgages today, with nine million active accounts compared to 6.2 million back in 1980.

There were 77,610 homeowner mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance in the final quarter of 2018, a 5% fall from the same quarter of 2017.

On the buy-to-let front, 540 properties were repossessed in the final quarter of last year, down by 14% from the previous year, while there were 4,690 mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more, which is unchanged from the same period of last year.

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, suggested that repossessions had fallen so low due to a combination of a low interest rate environment and lenders showing flexibility when working with borrowers who are in financial difficulty.

She continued: “Mortgage arrears also remain at historically low levels, with the majority of borrowers continuing to repay their mortgages in full and on time each month.”

Jonathan Harris, director of Anderson Harris, said it was encouraging that repossessions were at their lowest level in almost four decades, but warned there was no room for complacency, particularly with the potential for base rate rises ahead.

He continued: “We suspect that when it comes to their finances there are many people who don’t have a buffer to tide them over should they get into difficulty.”

Second charge repossessions stay low

Elsewhere, the Finance and Leasing Association announced that second charge repossessions in 2018 totaled 147, an increase of 8.1% on 2017.

However, the fourth quarter saw a sharp year-on-year fall in repossessions, down by 26.3% to 28.

The FLA emphasised that the number of properties repossessed during the year represented just 0.09% of the number of outstanding accounts.

Fiona Hoyle, head of consumer and mortgage finance at the FLA, said: “The low number of repossessions in the market shows that lenders are committed to helping those in ‎financial difficulties. The sooner customers make contact, the easier it is to find a solution.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Autumn Statement: Everything you need to know at a glance

Yesterday Chancellor Jeremy Hunt made his first fiscal statement in the role, outlining a range of tax measure...

End of Help to Buy: 10 alternatives for first-time buyers

The deadline for Help to Buy Equity Loan applications passed on 31 October. If you’re a first-time buyer who...

Moving to an energy prepayment meter: Everything you need to know

As households struggle with the soaring cost of energy, tens of thousands of billpayers are expected to move o...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week