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Arrears and repo rates tumble in Q2

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  • 13/08/2015
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Arrears and repo rates tumble in Q2
The level of repossessions fell to one in 5,000 in Q2 this year, or almost half the number recorded over the same period in 2015.

The lowest ever recorded figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed 2,500 properties taken into possession in the previous quarter, with 1,800 in the owner occupied market and 700 in buy to let.

The arrears figures were substantially higher with 106,400 borrowers behind with their payments, but the figure is still the lowest since quarterly records began in 2008.

Of those arrears, 100,700 were owner-occupier, and 5,700 buy-to-let with arrears static in both sectors.

CML director general, Paul Smee said: “Across all measures, mortgage arrears and repossessions are continuing to improve. We continue to see some amplification of the downward trend in repossessions, which may bring into question our repossessions forecast for 2015 as a whole.”

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), said the record low for repossessions and the falling number of loans in arrears have been two of the big success stories for mortgage borrowers in the post-recession era.

“The record low base rate has played a big part in helping households keep their loan commitments in check. The prospect of a higher base rate is clearly the biggest single factor that threatens this progress, but rate rises will be slow and steady – giving consumers plenty of time to adjust. The tightening of loan criteria following the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) will also help keep things on a stable footing moving forward, ” said Murphy.

The Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) confirmed secured loan repossessions are also falling, with a 50% tumble year-on-year.

In 2013, 676 properties were repossessed by secured loan lenders against 447 in 2014.

Fiona Hoyle, head of consumer finance at the FLA, said: “The further decrease in repossessions reflects second charge mortgage lenders’ commitment to helping customers in financial difficulty.”

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