Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Rise in repossessions is calm before the storm in mortgage market, warn experts

Figures from UK Finance show mortgage arrears remain low, but Equifax said mortgages are often the last form of credit homeowners fall behind on.

Vicky Shaw
Thursday 11 August 2022 12:49 BST
The number of homeowner property repossessions increased by 5% in the second quarter of this year compared with the first, according to UK Finance (Joe Giddens/PA)
The number of homeowner property repossessions increased by 5% in the second quarter of this year compared with the first, according to UK Finance (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Archive)

The number of homeowner property repossessions increased by 5% in the second quarter of this year compared with the first, according to a trade association.

Some 630 mortgaged repossessions took place in the second quarter, UK Finance said.

Buy-to-let repossessions, meanwhile, fell by 8% compared with the previous quarter, with 350 cases recorded in the second quarter.

UK Finance said that due to repossession activity previously being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, cases taking place now are, “therefore, almost exclusively historic cases which would, under normal circumstances, have taken place over the course of 2020 and 2021 and now need to conclude in the customers’ best interests”.

Today's figures may not appear on the face of it to raise any alarm bells, but this is the calm before the storm for the mortgage market

Kamini Patel, Equifax UK

Despite recent interest rate hikes, the total number of customers in arrears with their mortgages continued to fall in the second quarter of 2022.

Some 74,540 homeowner mortgages were in arrears representing 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance, which was 2% down on the previous quarter and 10% down on a year earlier.

There were 5,640 buy-to-let mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance in the second quarter of 2022 – 4% fewer compared with the previous quarter and 10% down on the year.

Kamini Patel, director of client analytics at Equifax UK, said: “Today’s figures may not appear on the face of it to raise any alarm bells, but this is the calm before the storm for the mortgage market.

“Mortgage repayments are usually the last credit line that a borrower will fall behind on, and as we’re already seeing rising arrears in unsecured loans and credit cards, we expect to see this market follow close behind.”

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in