Arrears and repossessions hit record low
Mortgage arrears and possessions fell again in the second quarter of 2017, to their lowest level since records began, according to figures from UK Finance.
The trade association said that the number of mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance fell to 88,200 in quarter two of this year, the lowest level since at least 1994 when records began.
This is down 5% on the first quarter of 2017 (92,600), with arrears now totalling just 0.8% of the 11 million mortgages outstanding in the UK.
More serious mortgage arrears of 10% or more of the outstanding balance fell 5%, to 25,200, down 5% from 26,500 in the preceding quarter. This brought a welcome end to a period of five successive quarters in which this figure had edged upwards from 23,400 in the first quarter of 2016.
The number of properties that were repossessed also fell in the second quarter from 1,900 to 1,800 (accounting for 0.02% of all mortgages). The total was the same as in the final quarter of last year, and is the lowest figure since quarterly data was first published in 2008.
UK Finance head of mortgages Paul Smee said: “These figures show that the overwhelming majority of borrowers are managing their mortgage payments successfully, and many of those who have experienced some difficulty in the past are able to recover their financial position. The recent improvement in the number of mortgages with high levels of arrears is particularly welcome.
“Borrowers are being helped by low interest rates, but mortgage costs are certain to rise at some stage. It is important therefore for customers to plan ahead and consider how their finances would be affected in those circumstances. As ever, lenders will continue to help borrowers resolve any financial difficulty if possible, so customers should not hesitate to contact their lender if they anticipate any payment problems.”