Fall in repossessions and arrears

According to the latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders the number of mortgages in arrears and the number of repossessions fell in the third quarter of the year.

The total number of mortgages in arrears was down from 154,900 in the second quarter of the year to 149,400 mortgages. This represents 1.33% of all mortgages.

The repossession rate also fell from 0.07% in the second quarter to 0.06% in the third quarter, the lowest level since the CML began publishing quarterly data at the beginning of 2008.

Arrears in the buy-to-let market are lower than in the home-owner market with buy-to-let mortgages representing over 13% of the total number of mortgages in the UK but only 9% of the total number of mortgages in arrears.

However, the repossession rate is a little higher on buy-to-let than on home-owner mortgages (0.10% on buy-to-let compared with 0.06% on home-owner-mortgages). Of the 7,200 total repossessions, 1,500 were buy-to-let.

CML, director general, Paul Smee said: "The continued reduction in payment difficulties is obviously very welcome.

“Anyone who does face the prospect of difficulty can be reassured that repossession really is a last resort.

“By talking to their lender as soon as possible, most can resolve their temporary problems, without the lender resorting to repossession.

“It also makes sense for people to think ahead now to how they will manage their finances to cope with higher interest rates, and higher mortgage payments, as and when rates rise in the future.”

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