39 per cent increase takes property repossessions to 5 year high

By
Natasha Adamson

Home repossessions in England and Wales increased by 39% in the second quarter of the year, with 6,179 repossession claims recorded in county courts.

The development comes at a time when mortgages are relatively cheap on account of the low base rate of interest, and on the back of almost 10 years of decline and stability in mortgage possession claims. Repossessions had reached a peak of 26,419 in the second quarter of 2009, and have only just began to creep upwards again in the past year. Increased lender willingness to assist borrowers in financial difficulty together with low interest rates have combined in the years following the financial crisis to reduce the number of repossession claims.

The majority of the 39 per cent jump is said to be as a result of one unnamed mortgage lender, and it would not therefore appear to be an accurate reflection of lender attitudes as a whole. However, there will be concerns that homeowners are getting into difficulty at a time when mortgages are about as cheap as they can get, with the only direction for interest rates to go seemingly being up.

There was also a 30% increase in repossessions by county court bailiffs, a 34% increase in warrants issued, and a 40% increase in mortgage orders for possession.