According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), mortgage possession claims, orders and warrants are 53 per cent, 47 per cent and 55 per cent below pre-Covid levels, respectively.
However, mortgage actions have almost quadrupled compared to the same quarter in 2021, from 735 to 2,890, orders leaped from 145 to 2,293, and warrants have made a bit of a hop from 43 to 2,162. Repossessions by county court bailiffs increased from three to 571.
The “volatile” median average time for mortgage orders, warrants and repossessions are to be taken with a slight pinch of salt, as only an extraordinarily low volume of cases could be processed last year due to the pandemic shuttering most courts.
The MoJ said that the median average time from claim to repossession has risen to 110.6 weeks, up from 39.4 weeks in the same period in 2019, but this was based on fewer cases.
Average timelines for claims to order increased to 15.6 weeks, up from 7.1 weeks in Q1 2021, while claims to warrant rose from 31.6 weeks in 2019 to 104.6 weeks.
The report said that short-term increases were due to the stay in possession claims between March and September 2020 and the stay in evictions between March 2020 and June 2021.
It adds that long-term increases in average times from claim to warrant, and claim to repossessions were due to a backlog of historic claims between 2007 and 2013 reaching the warrant and repossession stage.
Hartlepool in the North East had the highest rate of mortgage possession claims at 38 per 100,000 households, followed by Blackpool and Luton at 30 and 26 per 100,000 respectively.
Blackpool had the highest rate of mortgage repossession at 19 per 100,000 households in Q1 2022.
The report states that landlord possession claims, orders, warrants and repossession by county court bailiffs fell by 37 per cent, 45 per cent, 57 per cent, and 55 per cent respectively, compared to Q1 2019.
When compared to Q1 in 2021, possession claims rose from 6,376 to 19,033, orders from 5,424 to 12,975, warrants from 2,499 to 6,817 and repossessions from 269 to 3,763.
The report said that private landlord possession claims were back to pre-Covid levels and made up a third of all claims, which is proportionally higher than pre-Covid.
It added that bailiffs are still working through the backlog of repossessions and enforcement actions, so whilst numbers are below pre-pandemic figures they are rising steadily and are expected to continue to rise throughout the year.
Median and mean average times also rose for orders, warrants, and possession.
The highest landlord possession claim rate was in London, were seven out of 10 of the highest rates occurred. Brent had the highest at 227 per 100,000 households.
London had nine out of 10 of the highest landlord repossession rates, with Slough topping the national chart at 52 per 100,000 households.