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Arrears and repossessions fell in the first three months of 2020

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14/05/2020
Despite the positive start to the year, the coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact and over 1.6 million borrowers are currently taking a payment holiday
Arrears and repossessions fell in the first three months of 2020

There were 72,380 homeowner mortgages in arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the outstanding balance in the first quarter of 2020, according to UK Finance. This was six per cent fewer than in the same quarter of the previous year.

The trade body found that 4,420 buy-to-let mortgages were in more serious arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the outstanding balance in the first quarter of 2020, six per cent fewer than in the same quarter of the previous year.

Repossessions were also down over the last year – 1,070 homeowner mortgaged properties were taken into possession in the first quarter of 2020, 23 per cent fewer than in the same quarter of the previous year.

Current crisis

Although down on an annual basis, there has been a relatively small increase in arrears compared to the end of 2019, which is likely due to the early effects of Covid-19, said UK Finance.

The industry has introduced multiple measures to reduce financial difficulties for borrowers who are in need of support and the level of arrears remains low by historical comparisons.

Jackie Bennett, UK Finance senior advisor for mortgages, said: “Lenders know that coronavirus is currently causing financial difficulty for many customers. That’s why the banking and finance industry is working hard to support people during this difficult time, including providing more than 1.6 million mortgage payment holidays and introducing a three-month moratorium on any possessions.”

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