Repossessions in the first quarter of this year have hit a record low, revealed the latest report from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), with the total number of repossessions in the first three months of this year standing at just 2,100. Indeed, if this trend continued throughout the rest of the year, it would put the annual repossession total at 8,400, which is lower than in any year since 1982 (and that was when there were fewer mortgages!).
This is positive news for borrowers, especially as it appears that mortgage arrears are also still falling. According to the figures, the number of mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more fell below the 100,000 mark for the first time in more than 10 years, with 96,200 loans being in arrears at the end of March, down from 101,700 at the close of December and 11,200 at the end of the first quarter last year. Indeed, even more serious mortgage arrears of 10%, which have remained fairly static until now, have declined slightly.
This all implies that not only are borrowers coping better with their mortgage repayments, but that lenders are perhaps working harder to help people who are falling behind. "We cannot completely avoid the risk of any individual household experiencing arrears or repossession," said Paul Smee, CML director general, "but lenders continue to work very effectively to help their borrowers through periods of difficulty when they do occur, and borrowers should be reassured that most cases of arrears can be resolved and will not lead to repossession".
Things certainly seem to be looking up for borrowers, so if you're ready to get on - or move up - the property ladder, now may be the time to hunt down the perfect mortgage.
Securing low repayments is a good way of making sure your mortgage stays affordable, but remember to weigh up the overall cost of the mortgage, including the fees, the revert rate (if applicable) and any accompanying incentives. If you want greater control over your repayments, it may also be a good idea to find out if there is any repayment flexibility in terms of over or underpayments. To start your search, take a look at our best buy charts. Who knows, you could soon be moving into your dream home!
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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