Repossessions fall by a quarter in 2016

Mortgage repossessions fell by 25% in 2016 with 7,700 cases compared to 10,200 in 2015, data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders has found.

This was the lowest number since 1982.

On a quarterly basis possession numbers continued to fall, as 1,800 properties were taken into possession in the fourth quarter, down from 1,900 in the third.

Paul Smee (pictured), CML director general, said: “It is encouraging to see another improvement in arrears and possessions during a year in which borrowers were clearly helped by the downward trend in mortgage rates.

“But 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.”

In 2016 the number of cases in arrears of more than 2.5% fell by 7%.

However there was an increase in those with arrears of more than 10% of the balance from 23,700 to 26,000.

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