UK Finance: Buy-to-let arrears levels rise

Ryan Bembridge

May 9, 2019

There’s been an increase in the number of buy-to-let arrears in the first quarter of 2019, UK Finance figure show.

There were 1,200 buy-to-let mortgages in significant arrears of more than 10% of the balance, a 12% increase on the first quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile there were 4,620 buy-to-let mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance in the first quarter of 2019, 3% more than the same quarter of the previous year.

UK Finance said increases are small and from a low base.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “The softening in the housing market is reflected in these figures , particularly for buy-to-let landlords who are falling into arrears from the pressure of tax and regulatory changes, as we might have expected.

“These figures also show that there is little appetite among lenders to repossess because they are not going to do too much better than the owners themselves in achieving a sale at a reasonable price.”

In terms of owner occupiers UK Finance showed a mixed picture.

The number of homeowners in arrears of more than 2.5% fell by 4%, while the number in serious arrears fell by 3%.

However the number of homeowner mortgage properties that were repossessed rose by 10% to 1,380 cases in the first quarter of 2019.

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