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19 percent rise in home repossessions attributed to backlog in cases

Residential property repossessions increased by 19 percent in the third quarter of 2019, according to figures released by the banking and finance trade body, UK Finance.

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It attributes the increase in repossessions in part to a backlog of historic cases which are being processed in line with the latest regulatory requirements.


The proportion of homeowner mortgages in arrears remains at historically low levels, with the vast majority of borrowers continuing to repay their mortgages in full and on time each month.


There were 71,590 homeowner mortgages (0.79 percent of all residential mortgages outstanding) in arrears of 2.5 percent or more of the outstanding balance in the third quarter of 2019, nine percent fewer than in the same quarter of 2018.


Within the total, there were 22,300 homeowner mortgages with more significant arrears (representing 10 percent or more of the outstanding balance), eight percent fewer than in the same quarter of 2018.


Mark Pilling, managing director Spicerhaart Corporate Sales said: “Arrears remain low, but with weak retail performance and worsening economic data, it’s difficult to imagine this being sustained long into the new year.


“The mortgage possessions figures are concerning – up 19 percent year on year for homeowners, and 40 percent for buy to let. UK Finance are right to point out that this stems in part from historic cases but it is nonetheless a significant jump.”

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