Repossessions lowest since 2007
Repossessions fell from 8,200 in the third quarter of 2012 to 7,700 in the fourth quarter; the lowest quarterly number since the fourth quarter of 2007.
Paul Smee, CML director general, said: “The fall in arrears and possessions is obviously very welcome.
“Households fall into difficulty for a variety of reasons, most of which cannot be anticipated. Wherever possible lenders will work with borrowers to manage periods of temporary financial difficulty and enable them to keep their home.”
On an annual basis repossessions fell from 37,300 in 2011 to 33,900 in 2012; the lowest annual figure since 2007.
This brings the rate of repossession down from 0.33% in 2011 to 0.30% last year.
And the stock of properties in possession held by lenders at the end of 2012 was also at its lowest for over five years.
The number of households experiencing mortgage arrears also fell.
A total of 157,900 households ended 2012 with arrears of 2.5% or more of the mortgage balance compared with 161,400 households at the end of 2011.
This compared to 216,400 households at the peak of the current arrears cycle at the end of the first half of 2009.
As a result the arrears rate remained stable at 1.4%, the same rate for the second consecutive year.
However while the number of households in lower arrears bands has fallen fairly consistently since 2007 the number of cases in the highest band, which is arrears of more than 10% of the mortgage balance, increased slightly from 28,200 at the end of 2011 to 28,900 at the end of 2012.