In the below we’ll look at how many mortgage repossessions there were in 2022. Using the latest government data, we’ll summarise the key highlights and changes from previous periods.
Before we start, it’s important to understand the entire property possession process when looking at repossession figures. The Government, via gov.uk, publish their data on a quarterly basis which covers a variety of property possession stages including mortgage claim, orders, warrants and repossessions. The most up-to-date figures are currently as of January – September 2022 with Q4’s data being released in early February 2023. Below is a brief summary court process of possessing a property before we take a deeper looking into how many repossessions there are in the UK in 2022:
A mortgage or landlord possession action starts when a mortgage lender or landlord completes and submits a claim to the county courts to repossess a property. The court process of possessing a property broadly follows four stages:
The number of mortgage repossessions in the UK from Q1 – Q3 2022 is currently 2,103, excluding Scotland and Northern Ireland as repossession data isn’t available for these areas due to the unique process in the respective regions.
Currently, the public have access to repossession figures up to and including September 2022. Q4 (October – December) data will be released in early February so lookout for our review on the latest figures shortly after release.
The highest density of repossessions can be found in North West (21%) and South East of England (14%) where these regions account for over a third of all repossessions in the UK.
Mortgage repossessions have begun to rise in the second half of 2022 but remain below pre-Covid levels. Following the complete cessation of repossession proceedings between March and September 2020 where no repossessions took place, guidance from the FCA advised mortgage lenders not to commence or continue possession proceedings until April 2021.
There were only 10 repossessions from April 2020 to March 2021.
The number of mortgage possession claims increased by 30% in the third quarter of 2022. Some of the increase could be attributed to the suspension of repossession action during the pandemic and courts clearing the backlog. It also coincides with the increased cost of living and warnings that rising interest rates could make mortgages unaffordable for homeowners.
Newcastle upon Tyne had the highest overall rate of mortgage repossessions at 11 per 100,000 households during Q3.
The number of defaults depended on how many people lose their jobs this year, with the UK economy expected to enter a recession lasting at least until the end of 2023.
Official figures this week showed that monthly mortgage payments will triple for more than 800,000 households this year. Experts are predicting that some people are at risk of default so they need to change their spending habits to avoid missing mortgage payments.
What does this mean for the UK repossessed property market?
Although property repossession numbers currently remain relatively low when compared to previous years, it is difficult to avoid the signs of another recession hitting the UK later on in 2023. The rise in living standard costs, higher interest rates and the highest inflation the UK has seen in 41 years cannot be ignored. See more information in our blog post.
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