Mortgages

Repossessions and buy-to-let arrears on the rise: UK Finance

The number of people repossessed rose by 15% compared with the same quarter last year.

Rozi Jones
|
8th August 2019
house mortgage late payment due repossession arrears
"UK Finance put this down to a backlog of historical cases now being processed and confirms that these numbers are well below the higher levels seen between 2009 and 2014."

The number of mortgaged properties taken into possession rose by 15% in Q2 compared to the same quarter in 2018, according to the latest data from UK Finance.

1,270 were repossessed in the quarter, however UK Finance says the figure remains "well below the levels seen between 2009 and 2014" and attributed the rise to a backlog of historic cases which are currently being processed.

590 buy-to-let mortgaged properties were taken into possession in the second quarter of 2019, 2% more than in the same quarter of the previous year.

Additionally, there were 4,660 buy-to-let mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance in the second quarter of 2019 - an annual rise of 5%. Within the total, there were 1,200 buy-to-let mortgages with more significant arrears (10% or more of the outstanding balance on the mortgage), 12% higher than in Q2 2018.

There was a 3% fall in the total number of residential mortgages in arrears of over 2.5% and a 2% fall in the number with significant arrears.

Separate research from the Finance & Leasing Association shows that the number of second charge repossessions in Q2 was 24, 38.5% lower than in 2018.

Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, commented: "While the number of homeowners in mortgage arrears has fallen, the number of people repossessed rose by 15% compared with the same quarter last year.

"UK Finance put this down to a backlog of historical cases now being processed and confirms that these numbers are well below the higher levels seen between 2009 and 2014. That 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."

Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “The first half of 2019 has seen a significant fall in the number of second charge mortgage repossessions and our current forecasts suggest a record low total in 2019 as a whole.”

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