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Repossessions to fall in 2013

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The number of properties repossessed this year should be almost 3% lower than 2012, falling to around 33,000.

Such is the conclusion of mortgage servicer HML, which manages £44bn of assets for 50 financial companies.

Research drawn from over 1m mortgage accounts found Northern Ireland will be hit hardest this year with a repossession rate of 1.29% and 4,073 properties set to be repossessed.

The South West is predicted to have the lowest repossession rate at 0.18%, or 1,579 properties. The fewest homes will be repossessed in the North at 1,442, but overall he Sourth West should have the lowest repossession rate at 0.18%.

Director of business intelligence at HML Damian Riley, said: “We have a number of concerns related to customers’ abilities to pay their mortgage and repossessions.

“With inflation at 2.7% and likely to stay above the Bank of England’s own 2% target for some time to come, workers continue to face reducing spending power that will put the squeeze on those mortgage borrowers who are close to the limit of their ability to make monthly repayments.”

Statistics from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) suggest repossessions fell on an annual basis from 37,300 in 2011 to 33,900 in 2012, which is the lowest annual figure since 2007.

The stock of properties in possession held by lenders at the end of 2012 was also at its lowest for over five years, said the CML.