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Repossessions rose in last three months of 2022

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Repossessions are up, as rising mortgage rates and inflation impact more borrowers

Mortgage possession claims increased by 23% in the last three months of 2022 compared to the same quarter in 2021 from 2,570 to 3,160, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice.

It added that mortgage orders for possession (2,482) are up 50%, warrants issued (2,112) are up 88% and repossessions (733) are up 134%.

Despite rising steadily throughout last year the MOJ pointed out that, in general, volumes have not reached pre-pandemic levels.

Landlord possessions

The rise was also repeated for landlord possessions where the increase was more significant. When compared to the same quarter in 2021, landlord possession claims increased from 14,436 to 20,460 (42%) and repossessions from 2,729 to 5,409 (98%).

The MOJ added that mortgage and landlord possession claims rates have risen across all regions.

Myron Jobson, senior personal finance analyst at interactive investor, said: “The increase in mortgage possession actions and repossessions is skewed by the city watchdog ordered cessation of repossession activity at the start of the Covid pandemic and the rollout of payment holidays on a grand scale for those who needed them.

“History has shown that repossession can rise steeply during periods of economic stress. Such was the case in the wake of global financial crash. Today, an uptick in mortgage rates to levels not seen since the credit crunch, workers incomes failing to keep up with spiralling household costs and a stuttering economy leave workers struggling to keep up with repayment obligations in a precarious position. Something like a sudden illness or job loss could leave them homeless.

“The property repossession figures also don’t make for happy reading for landlords, who are aware that their tenants circumstances can change overnight.”