The number of buy to let properties in arrears has risen again according to figures released by UK Finance, formerly the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
There were 5,100 BTL mortgages with arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the outstanding balance in the final three months of last year – slightly more than in the same period of 2016.
The 5,100 included some 1,200 BTL mortgages with arrears of 10 per cent or more of the outstanding balance – a fifth up on the same quarter of 2016.
Some 600 mortgaged buy to lets were repossessed in October to December, roughly the same figure as in that period of 2016.
UK Finance says the rise for Q4 is just the latest in a series of increases in buy to let arrears following a lengthy period during which arrears were falling; the recent increases roughly coincide with the introduction of stricter tax rules for the sector.
In the wider owner occupier market, arrears continue to decline with 82,800 homeowner mortgages in arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the outstanding balance; some 1,100 homeowner mortgaged properties were taken into possession in the fourth quarter of 2017, a little down on the same quarter of the previous year.
“Annual homeowner possessions currently stand at a 36-year low, with overall arrears and possessions continuing to decline. This reflects the mortgage industry’s continued commitment to appropriate and prudent lending” says Paul Smee, head of mortgages at UK Finance.