Repossessions in the first six months of the year fell to their lowest level since the latter half of 2007, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
In the six months to 30 June, the number of repossessions totalled 15,700, compared to 13,100 in the second half of 2007.
Repossessions declined 4 per cent in the second quarter of 2013, from 8,000 in Q1 to 7,700 in Q2.
There was also a reduction in the number of mortgages in arrears in the second quarter. At the end of June, a total of 157,700 mortgages – equivalent to 1.4 per cent of all loans – were in arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the balance, down from 159,700 at the end of March. This was the lowest number recorded since the end of the third quarter of 2008.
The CML’s most recent forecast for 2013 is that there will be 35,000 repossessions during the year, with 160,000 mortgages ending the year in arrears of more than 2.5 per cent of the balance. At this point, the CML says it does not plan to revise this forecast.
CML head of policy Jackie Bennett says: “Given the pressures on household incomes, the continuing modest decline in arrears and possessions is welcome. Low interest rates and lower than expected unemployment are providing some relief for households, and borrowers are continuing to prioritise mortgage payments while lenders are showing forbearance where it is viable.”