Number of mortgage arrears falls to lowest ever levels

The number of borrowers that find themselves in serious arrears with their mortgage has fallen to its lowest level since records began in 2008, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

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Serious arrears, defined as arrears equivalent to a minimum of 2.5 per cent of the mortgage value, were down by 1.12 per cent at the end of the third quarter.

Also during the third quarter, the proportion of mortgage properties taken into possession was 0.04 per cent – the lowest ever quarterly proportion and number.

CML director general Paul Smee says: “Low interest rates, supported by intelligent communication and forbearance, mean that mortgage arrears and repossessions continue to decline.

“Encouragingly, recent research also suggests that many households are preparing themselves for the prospect of higher interest rates, so we expect any uptick in payment difficulties to be relatively muted if and when rates do begin rising.

“But a key activity for lenders now is considering how best to support their borrowers in planning ahead for a time when debt servicing costs are higher than they are now.”

Original Article: Mortgage Advice Bureau

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