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CML: Arrears at lowest level since record began

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Mortgage arrears could plummet to lows not seen since 1982, according to new data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The CML data shows the number of arrears is down 13.4 per cent compared to this time last year. Q2 has seen arrears fall from 95,900 in the first quarter of the year, down to 92,500 in the second.

More detailed analysis of the data reveals that there was a reduction in the number of borrowers in arrears in all types of lending, except for those owing more than 10 per cent of the mortgage balance.

The data also shows a decrease in the number of repossessions. Repossessions fell to 1,900 down from 2,100 in the first three months of the year, marking a reduction in repossessions on both owner-occupied and buy-to-let homes.

Ministry of Justice figures also show that these repossessions are more likely to occur on rental properties than owner-occupied homes. There were 42,729 rental evictions in England and Wales in 2015, compared to 5,592 mortgaged property repossessions.

Discussing the findings, CML director Paul Smee says: “Another welcome reduction in arrears and possessions shows that borrowers are continuing to prioritise their mortgage commitments and that lenders remain committed to helping them through a period of temporary difficulty, wherever possible.

“As ever, the key to success in dealing with any payment problems is to address them as soon as possible. Any borrowers anticipating difficulty in paying their mortgage should therefore speak to their lender at the earliest opportunity.”

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