Low mortgage rates see home repossessions continue to fall

Paul Smee
Paul Smee

Low interest rates have kept the number of homes repossessed in the UK falling during the course of the second quarter of the year, new data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has revealed.

The CML said that 2,500 homes were repossessed in April, May and June, down from 3,000 in the previous quarter and down by more than half year-on-year from 5,400.

CML director general Paul Smee said: “This trend is very welcome. Low interest rates are acting as a significant support for homeowners in general, and are likely to be helping to stave off low level arrears for stretched households in particular.”

Earlier this week, it was revealed that more than a million householders had never experienced a rise in the Bank of England’s base rate while owning a home and Mr Smee warned that problems could be being stored-up for when rates do rise.

He added: “As ever, we urge borrowers to think ahead to when interest rates rise, and to contact their lender without delay if they are in difficulty. Prompt action helps to prevent problems worsening.”

Some 11.1 million mortgages are outstanding in the UK, with loans worth more than £1.3 trillion.

The CML figures showed that 1,800 homes were repossessed from owner-occupiers, and 700 were seized from landlords in the buy-to-let market in the second quarter of the year.

The number of owners falling into arrears on mortgage repayments had also fallen in the second three months of the year compared with the first quarter, the CML said.

Some 100,700 owner-occupiers, and 5,700 landlords, had arrears of more than 2.5 per cent of the mortgage balance.

Ministry of Justice figures, also published on Thursday, show that the number of homeowners facing court action at the earliest stage of the repossession process fell during the second quarter of the year.

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