Home repossessions fall to a record low level says body

A housing estate
A housing estate

The number of homes being repossessed has fallen to new record lows as cheap mortgage deals have helped home owners to stay in their properties.

The repossession rate, which was already at its lowest since records started, fell to 0.02 per cent in the second quarter of this year - equating to just one in every 5,000 mortgages, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported.

Some 2,500 properties were repossessed in the second quarter of 2015, down from 3,000 in the previous quarter and 5,400 in the second quarter of last year. Of these, 1,800 homes being repossessed had belonged to owner-occupiers, while a further 700 had been buy-to-let properties.

The rate of home owners falling into arrears with their mortgage was also at the lowest levels since records started in 2008, the CML said.

The total number of mortgages with arrears equivalent to 2.5 per cent or more of the mortgage balance was 106,400 - equating to 0.96 per cent of all mortgages. Of the loans in arrears, 100,700 were owner-occupier loans, while 5,700 were buy-to-let loans.

A mortgage price war has broken out in recent months, with many lenders offering their lowest ever rates, although some lenders have started to tweak the rates they are offering upwards in recent weeks.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney recently suggested that the base rate could start to move off its 0.5 per cent low around the turn on of the year.

Meanwhile anyone hoping to buy a house can be sure of one thing: the Government is here to help you on that ladder. Depending on your needs (and eligibility), it will either act as guarantor on part of your mortgage or lend you up to 20 per cent of the cost of a new-build home. For those not yet ready to buy, there’s the incoming Help to Buy ISA - where they will top up your savings by up to £3,000. All are designed to help more people buy their home. But a recent survey has highlighted a fundamental flaw in this strategy.

According to The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), the supply of homes for sale in July fell to its lowest level since records began in 1978. Average stock levels have fallen by a fifth since January alone.