Hometrack has called for more data to be published on arrears and possessions by lender type and by broad mortgage sector.
Risk and economics director Gary Styles says that rising arrears in higher risk sectors could distort the perceived overall picture for mortgage lending and the housing market in the UK.
“Lenders who concentrate on the prime lending market experience significantly lower levels of arrears and repossessions than for the market as a whole.”
This comes as the Council of Mortgage Lenders says that repossessions in 2007 totalled 27,100, 10 per cent lower than it had previously forecasted.
Styles adds: “Mortgage arrears continue to rise with 3 month plus arrears reaching 1.1 per cent of all loans up from 1.05 per cent in the first half of last year and 1.02 per cent at the end of 2006. Arrears remain very subdued compared to the last major housing slowdown when they reached over 6-7 times this level in percentage terms.
“However, the actual number of mortgages 3 months or more in arrears has risen to 129,800 and those in the more serious 6 month category has reached 56,800. The subdued data on possessions are very welcome but the deteriorating arrears position will inevitably result in higher repossessions during 2008.”