The number of properties being repossessed by mortgage lenders has fallen but the North West remains the nation’s property repossession hotspot, according to research from WinMyDreamHome.
Data from the Land Registry shows that there had been a 9% drop in the number of homes being repossessed in England and Wales between 2017 and 2018, with numbers falling in every region but London.
While the data for 2019 only provides a four-month snapshot so far, the figures suggest this trend is on course to continue with repossessions declining again in England and Wales overall, although the South West, the East Midlands and East of England could see an increase.
Looking at last year, the largest year on year annual drop was in the East of England where repossessions dropped by 24% between 2017 and 2019, followed by the South East and Yorkshire and Humber at 13%.
Other than the year-on-year increase in London, the North West was home to the smallest decline in repossessions at 2%. However, the region has consistently ranked as the UK’s property repossession hotspot, with 1817 properties taken back in 2018, the highest of all regions by some 702 properties compared to the nearest region in the Yorkshire and Humber.
This was also the case in 2017 when some 1854 properties were repossessed and based on current data for 2019, this looks to continue.
Marc Gershon, organiser of WinMyDreamHome said, “We’re currently enjoying a very prolonged period of affordability where mortgage rates are concerned and this has no doubt helped homebuyers across the nation keep pace with the monthly payments required to hold onto their homes, resulting in a drop in repossession figures.
“However, while this doesn’t remove the initial financial barrier of a mortgage deposit, it has encouraged many homebuyers to borrow beyond their means and the danger of doing so is financial difficulty further down the line.
“As a result, there is still a consistent level of property repossessions taking place across all regions and while this may continue to decline in the short-term, a change in interest rates could see many more caught out.”