Repossession rate remains steady for fourth quarter
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The latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows a steady rate of repossessions for the fourth quarter in a row, as January-March 2013 saw 0.07% of properties taken under possession.


As a quarterly average, that represents less than one property per 1,400 under mortgages, and its stability is reflected in the arrears rate too.


Nearly 160,000 mortgages were in arrears at the end of the first quarter, where the arrears totalled 2.5% or more of the total amount owed on the mortgage.


At 1.4% of all mortgages, that’s the same proportion as in the previous quarter, and in the same quarter of the previous year, showing both short-term and long-term stability.


But with one in 70 mortgage-holders facing arrears of over 2.5% of their total mortgage debt, it’s still clearly cause for concern that many householders are failing to meet their minimum monthly repayments.


Paul Smee, director general of the CML, says: “Anyone who is worried about their mortgage can be assured that, as long as they take steps early to address them, most problems can be contained.


“Lenders very much want to enable people to stay in their homes wherever they have sustainable prospects of getting their mortgage back on track.”


For 2013, the CML has maintained its previous forecast, which predicts:


  • 160,000 mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more by the end of the year;
  • 35,000 repossessions in the year as a whole.


Significantly, one in five repossessions in the first quarter were of buy-to-let properties, showing that private landlords remain a significant factor in the nation’s overall repossession risk, and that their tenants are at risk of losing their homes due to their landlord’s financial instability.


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