19 May

Mortgage arrears continue to decrease

Mortgage arrears continue to decrease

The number of UK mortgages in arrears or ending in repossession has dropped during the first three months of the year, according to new figures.

Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) shows that there was a decline across all types of mortgages, including owner-occupied and buy-to-let properties.

Overall, the total proportion of all mortgages with arrears of more than 2.5 per cent of the outstanding home loan balance was 1.03 per cent - down from 1.05 per cent in the last quarter of 2014 and the 1.24 per cent recorded at the same point in 2014.

CML figures show there were 113,900 loans in arrears, with 24,400 having missed payments of more than ten per cent of the balance - this is the smallest number of mortgages in serious arrears since the end of 2008 and suggests the UK economy and the market is continuing to improve.

"Although complacency would be misplaced, the underlying picture continues to be one of improvement and a continuing reduction in mortgage arrears and repossessions," said CML director general Paul Smee.

"The message remains the same: don't delay in contacting your lender if you are experiencing temporary payment problems, as lenders want to help you resolve them, and will only take possession of property as a last resort," he added.

According to the latest figures from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), the number of second charge mortgage repossessions declined by 45.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2015, compared with the same period last year.

"Second charge repossessions are continuing to fall as second charge lenders continue to do all they can to help customers in financial difficulty," said Fiona Hoyle, head of consumer credit at the FLA.
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