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Ellen Forster

Member Article

South East sees 16% reduction in home repossessions

The North-South divide in home repossessions has closed by a sixth over the last year, according to detailed research released this morning by e.surv chartered surveyors.

There were 1.6 repossessions per 1,000 households in the first half of 2014, compared to 2.05 per 1,000 households in London, according to e.surv’s analysis of court-ordered repossessions in England & Wales.

The North West had the highest rate of repossessions, with 2.68 per 1,000 households in the region, representing a 14% reduction from the same period in 2013.

Total home repossessions have fallen 14% year-on-year as a result – from 27,105 in H1 2013 to 23,285 in H1 2014.

The average rate of repossessions in England & Wales now sits at 2.1 repossessions per 1,000 households, down from 2.4 in H1 2013. Repossessions have fallen in every region of England & Wales.

The West-Central London area has seen the most significant reduction in repossessions, decreasing 50% from 0.74 to 0.37 per 1,000.

London is tied with Wales for the least-improved repossession rates on an annual basis from the first half of 2013 to the first half of 2014. Repossession rates in Wales and the capital fell by 12%, compared to a 14% average across the rest England & Wales.

There were 2.1 repossessions per 1,000 households in the capital in H1 2014, exactly the same as the average across England & Wales.

However, London contains some of the worst and best areas in terms of both repossession rates and year-on-year improvements.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, explains: “The repossession rift between North and South is beginning to knit itself back together, helped by a jobs boom across the country.

“People all across England and Wales have a firmer grasp of their finances compared to a year ago and the Bank of England continues to hold interest rates low, which has been a real boon to those who are already on the housing ladder – allowing them the chance to pay down debts whilst accessing cheaper mortgage repayments.

“At the same time, wage growth has outpaced inflation for the first time in five years, meaning the cost of living squeeze has started to ease. “This really boils down to people having more money in their pockets than a year ago.

“Savers may have suffered while the base rate has stayed low, but for those on the edge of the repossessions cliff, it has allowed them the respite needed to claw back their finances and move back into financial security.

“Moving forwards, the Mortgage Market Review will ensure that future borrowers are able to keep up with repayments, despite fluctuations in interest rates. It’s heartening to see repossession rates falling in those areas which have previously been most deeply affected.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ellen Forster .

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