Home repossessions lowest since 1982

Figures released this month by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that the number of homes being repossessed fell to its lowest figure for 34 years.

A total of 7,700 properties were repossessed in 2016. This was nearly 25% lower than in 2015 and over 80% lower since the financial crisis in 2009.

The CML also warn that while the amount you pay on your mortgage could be low for now, there may come a time when interest rates and other financial factors make it harder to maintain your payments.

Customers do need to be ready for a time when the outlook may not be so benign, with pressure on real incomes increasing and as interest rates begin to move upwards again. As ever, borrowers who fear they may miss a payment should speak to their lender. Lenders remain committed to helping borrowers work through any period of temporary payment difficulty and remain in their home wherever possible.

Paul Smee, CML Director General

Since the Brexit vote, the value of the pound has started to decrease. This will eventually make the cost of imports, such as food, more expensive during your everyday shop. This could put a strain on your finances if the cost of everyday products goes up, and your income doesn’t change or increase.

The CML figures also looked at people in mortgage arrears. The number of homeowners who fell into payment arrears also fell in 2016 compared to the previous year.

There were 94,100 mortgages with arrears of at least 2.5% of their outstanding balance in 2016. This is a reduction from 101,700 mortgages that were in arrears at the end of 2015.

There was however an increase in the number of mortgages with arrears of more than 10% of the balance (the amount owed on the mortgage) during 2016. This rose from 23,700 to 26,000.