The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has published data showing the rate of lender repossessions in quarter one are down on the same period last year. Lender repossessions remained at 0.07 per cent, the same figure as the three previous quarters.
The figures released last week showed that 8,000 homes were taken into possession by lenders in the period January to March 2013. Whilst this is down from the 9,600 reported lender repossessions during the same period in 2012 it does show an increase on the Q4 figure of 7,700.
According to the CML, a fifth of the repossessions involved buy to let mortgaged property rather than owner occupied homes.
Repossessions at the end of the first quarter were 0.07 per cent, a rate that has remained unchanged now for four consecutive quarters. The proportion of mortgaged properties being repossessed equates to fewer than 1 in 1,400 mortgages.
Mortgage arrears have also remained stable in the last year with 159,800 mortgages showing arrears at 2.5 per cent of the mortgage balance during Q1, 1.4 per cent of all mortgages. These figures are the same proportion as both the last quarter and the same period in 2012.
CML had forecast a total of 35,000 repossessions and 160,000 mortgage arrears of 2.5 per cent or more at the end of this year.
Paul Smee, Director General of CML said:
"Mortgage arrears and repossessions have stabilised at levels lower than many anticipated when the economic downturn started. Low interest rates, continuing employment, lender forbearance and tactical public policy support have combined to ensure that repossession really is a last resort.
"Anyone who is worried about their mortgage can be assured that, as long as they take steps early to address them, most problems can be contained. Lenders very much want to enable people to stay in their homes wherever they have sustainable prospects of getting their mortgage back on track."