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Mortgage arrears at lowest levels since 1994

Mortgage arrears have hit their lowest level since 1994, according to recent data published by UK Finance for the third quarter of 2017.


Amber-Ainsley   Pritchard

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The number of mortgages in arrears of 2.5 percent or more of the outstanding balance fell to 88,300 during the third quarter.

 

This total of 88,300, which reflected a two percent fall on the previous three months, is also at its lowest level since 1994.

 

The number of mortgages in arrears fell across all bands, apart from those owing 10 percent or more of the outstanding balance.

 

Buy-to-let arrears were flat, apart from a small increase in those with higher levels of debt. Overall, the number of buy-to-let mortgages in arrears increased by two percent to 5,100.

 

MoJ data

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) also published data for the third quarter of 2017, this time for mortgage and landlord possession statistics.

 

Compared to the same period in 2016, the number of mortgage possession claims and orders made in county courts increased, but warrants and repossessions fell.

 

During the third quarter, mortgage possession claims increased six percent to 4,757 and orders for possessions increased 26 percent to 3,376.

 

June Deasy, head of mortgages policy at UK Finance, said: “Even a small rise in mortgage possessions is disappointing but, after a long period of declining numbers, it was inevitable that they would rise again at some stage. Both arrears and possessions remain low by historical standards and look set to be lower for the year than we predicted at the start of 2017.”

 

Mark Pilling, managing director of Spicerhaart Corporate Sales, which offers repossession services and asset management to corporate clients, said: “As interest rates start to rise, wage growth remains stagnant, and we have inflation at three percent. Now is the time for lenders to be keeping a close eye on their clients’ ability to keep up their repayments and engage with third parties to look after every borrower’s best interests.”

 

Landlord possession claims, orders for possessions, warrants of possessions and repossessions by county court bailiffs decreased in the third quarter.

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