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Home repossessions increase by almost a fifth

UK Finance said a backlog of older cases is partly behind the rise in the third quarter.

Home repossessions have increased by almost a fifth compared to a year ago, figures show (PA)
Home repossessions have increased by almost a fifth compared to a year ago, figures show (PA)

By Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

The number of homes being repossessed has jumped compared with a year ago, figures show.

Across the UK, 1,330 properties mortgaged by homeowners were repossessed in the third quarter of this year – up by nearly a fifth (19%) on the previous year.

There was also an uplift in the number of landlords having their properties repossessed.

Some 800 buy-to-let mortgaged properties were repossessed in the third quarter – a 40% increase on the same period of 2018.

Trade association UK Finance, which released the figures, said the increase was partly driven by a backlog of older cases being processed in line with regulatory requirements.

It said repossessions remain well below levels seen between 2009 and 2014.

Low mortgage rates have been helping to keep borrowers’ repayments relatively affordable.

Toughened mortgage lending rules were also introduced following the economic downturn to make sure borrowers can only take out loans they can afford to pay back.

The UK Finance report said: “Lenders continue to show flexibility to borrowers in financial difficulty and possession is always a last resort.”

The figures also show fewer homeowners and landlords were in arrears with their mortgage in the third quarter compared with a year earlier.

There were also shrinking numbers of borrowers in the worst arrears band – made up of those who owe the equivalent of 10% or more of the outstanding balance on their mortgage.

The report continued: “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.”



From Belfast Telegraph