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Rise in mortgage possession actions driven by one mystery lender

The number of homes repossessed by lenders in the second quarter of this year was up by 15% on the same period last year – while a rise in mortgage possession actions has been driven by just one large lender, whose identity has not been revealed.

Trade body UK Finance says that between April and the end of June 1,270 homes were taken into possession, but said the increase was driven by a backlog of historic cases.

It also said that the level was far below those seen between 2009 and 2014. In the first quarter of 2009, some 12,000 homes were repossessed.

UK Finance also reports that the number of home owner mortgages in arrears remains at historic lows.

There were 75,890 mortgages (0.84% of the total) in arrears of 2.5% or more in the second quarter.

Within that number, 23,370 were 10% or more in arrears.

The totals were respectively 2% and 3% lower than in the same quarter last year.

However, the number of buy-to-let mortgages in arrears has grown, with 4,660 in arrears of 2.5% or more – a total that is 5% greater than last year.

Within that, 1,200 buy-to-let mortgages were 10% or more in arrears, 12% higher than last year.

A total of 590 buy-to-let mortgaged properties were repossessed in the second quarter of this year, 2% up on the same quarter in 2018.

Separate figures from the Ministry of Justice, also covering the second quarter of this year, show an increase in possession actions – said to be “driven by one large mortgage provider”.

The lender is not named.

The MoJ statistics show that mortgage possession actions are up by 39%.

However, landlord possession actions are down.

The MoJ says there were 6,179 mortgage possession claims in the quarter – way down from 26,419 in the same quarter in 2009.

It currently takes an average of 36 weeks from claim to actual repossession.

In the rental sector, almost all landlord possession claims were by social landlords, with just 23% (6,079) by private landlords, although this was up by 2% from a year ago.

The average time for a private landlord to get from court claim to actual possession was 22.5 weeks, up from 21.6 weeks at the start of the year.

By ROSALIND RENSHAW

Source: Property Industry Eye