UK Property Repossessions Are Soaring

The Ministry of Justice has revealed that mortgage possessions claims have increased more than a third in the last quarter of 2019.

Shockingly, those households who have had their homes repossessed because of mortgage arrears reaching a critical point are up by 39% in the three months to June this year – in comparison to the same quarter last year.

Approximately 6,180 households have had mortgage possessions claims made against them in April, May, and June this year.

Following a three-year period of steadiness, this is the fourth consecutive increase in the number of claims made – despite lenders being massively pushed to provide aid to borrowers finding it very difficult to pay their bills.

Those who are part of the legal process to remove homeowners in debt saw similar increases, which included the number of homes successfully taken back by the bank.

Yet even though repossession is the last resort action taken by lenders, The Money Charity has calculated that a property is now repossessed in the UK every 94 minutes.

This is a stark contrast to figures released by UK Finance early in 2019 which found house repossessions at lowest levels in 30 years.

Tim Waterlow, development director of lifetime mortgage provider Responsible Lending said:

“Financial stress in British households is rearing its ugly head in these figures. The number of repossessions may be small in relative terms but this a keenly watched indicator of economic health for the country.”

Waterlow further added:

“Things aren’t nearly as bad as they were around the time of the financial crisis in 2009 when repossessions peaked, but such a large jump, topping the year-on-year rise seen in the final quarter of last year, raises fears serious financial strain among households is on an upward trajectory once again.”

Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris also gave his views on repossession trends. He said:

“………Repossession is devastating, and any borrowers struggling to repay their mortgage should keep their lender in the loop. Lenders are being flexible and showing forbearance but it is much easier and less stressful to come up with solutions early on than further down the line when options may be much more limited.”

1 Comment

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    While MoJ figures show that lenders are taking more proceedings landlords are taking less. The trend would seem to be that those who have lent want their money out but those that have let don’t want properties back.

    Bad news for the residential sector and authorities responsible for rehousing the dispossessed.

    A scheme for using repossessions for rehousing is needed.

    I am old enough to remembered the municipalisation programme of the 1970s which saved the housing market in many areas.

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