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The fourth quarter of 2019 saw a 9% annual decrease in the number of residential mortgage arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance, according to UK Finance.

In Q4 there were 70,880 cases in arrears and within this total, 21,770 homeowner mortgages had significant arrears (10% or more of the outstanding balance). This was also 9% fewer than in the same quarter of the previous year.

Residential repossessions

The number of homeowner possessions rose by 17% to 1,330 in Q4 2019 but UK Finance points out this is from a very low base, with 59 in every 100,000 homeowner mortgages being taken into possession in 2019.

This increase in possessions has been driven in part by a backlog of historic cases which are being processed in line with the latest regulatory requirements.

Buy-to-let

There were 4,390 buy-to-let mortgages in arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the outstanding balance in Q4 2019, which is 0.22 per cent of all buy-to-let mortgages outstanding. This figure is down 7% fewer on the same quarter of the previous year.

Within the total, there were 1,160 buy-to-let mortgages with more significant arrears of 10% or more of the outstanding balance – 3% fewer than in the same quarter of 2018.

There was a 20% rise in buy-to-let mortgaged properties taken into possession in Q4 2019, taking the number to 660. Again, this is from a low base with 137 in every 100,000 buy-to-let mortgages being taken into possession in 2019.

Levels remain well below those seen between 2009 and 2014 and this increase is driven in part by a backlog of historic cases which are being processed on the same basis as the latest regulatory requirements in the residential sector.

By Joanne Atkin

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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