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Tuesday 01st of June 2010
March 18, 2010    

Year-end improvement in mortgage arrears and repossessions

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by Gill Montia

In its latest round-up of UK mortgage statistics, the Financial Services Authority has reported a fall in the number of homeowners in arrears.

In the final quarter of 2009, 378,000 households were behind with their monthly repayments (at a level equivalent to 1.5% of their outstanding balances).

The figure is down 4% on the previous quarter and represents 3.42% of all UK residential mortgage borrowers.

In addition, the number of new cases of arrears fell by 9% in the three months to the end of December, to 41,000, while new repossession cases stood at 11,800, down 15% on the earlier quarter.

However, 2009 saw 54,000 homes possessed by lenders in total, up from 46,945 in 2008 but well below the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ forecast of 75,000 at the start of the year.

Meanwhile, the Government has acknowledged that pressure on homeowners is set to remain throughout 2010 by ploughing a further £2.5 million into promoting its mortgage help website and National Debtline.

Housing minister, John Healey, says: “More than 330,000 families have had help and advice with their mortgages over the past year, which is one reason why repossessions are running at half the rate of the last recession.”

He adds: “I would urge anyone facing money worries not to bury their head in the sand, but to go to our repossessions help website or call the National Debtline to get help in keeping their home.”

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