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Falling repossessions in northern England

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Repossession rates in the north of England are falling faster than in southern towns, new reseach has shown.

Figures released by e.surv chartered surveyors found repossession levels in the north had fallen to 4.1 per 1,000 households. This is still above the 2.9 per 1,000 rate found in the south, but the gap is narrowing.

In the last two years the north-south divide has shrunk by 19%, the firm said.

For northern towns suffering the highest repossession rates, this decline has been even more profound.

However, the North West still has higher repossession rates than any other region, with 4.6 repossessions for every 1,000 households. Additionally every major town in North East recorded more repossessions than average.

Bradford was the city with the most repossessions, with 6.2 per 1,000. This was followed by Oldham and Sunderland. The London area of Ilford was the top in the south of England.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “The north-south repossession gap is clearly closing as the financial performance of the South East spreads across the country. Northern towns are less prominent as repossessions hotspots.

“Brits are feeling the benefits of falling fuel and food prices, which have filtered through into low inflation, and even deflation in the first part of 2015. All the while, wages are increasing, meaning there is more money to go around. This has given financially fragile homeowners the chance to bolster their credit and retreat from the repossession threat.

“The economic environment has helped greater numbers in the north, as there were more borrowers on the edge in this area.

“The government’s plans to devolve power to the regions could help eradicate the remaining rift – with more opportunity for long-term local investment. This will allow for targeted spending to create jobs in areas that need them the most – which may dramatically relieve repossessions.”

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