HML predicts a drop in repossessions in first half of 2011

UK repossessions are set to fall during the first half of 2011 to 15,557 and rise during the second half to 17,700, according to the first regionally based forecast from financial outsourcer HML.

Its figures are based on an analysis of 320,000 live mortgage accounts.

In total HML predicts 33,257 houses , 0.3% of all mortgaged properties will be repossessed across the UK during 2011.

Northern Ireland is expected to experience the worst rate of repossessions in the UK at 0.83% – 2,540, with repossession rates significantly higher than other regions.

On the UK mainland, repossession rates are likely to be above average in Wales, 0.37% – 1,914, London, 0.34% – 4,159, the West Midlands, 0.33% – 3,406 and the North East, 0.33% – 1,557.

The South West is forecast to see the lowest proportion of repossessions in the UK, by a considerable margin with 0.18% – 1,829.

Neil Warman, HML chief commercial and finance officer at HML, says despite the challenging economic environment, the downward trend in repossessions we saw last year is set to continue for the first half of this year. However repossessions will then begin to rise during the second half as a number of macroeconomic factors start to impact on homeowners and influence lender behaviour.

He says: “Of particular concern this year will be the impact of rising inflation and interest rates on hard-pressed homeowners and the effect of continuing job losses. However, these are unlikely to feed through into increased repossessions during the early part of this year.

“Looking at 2012 we see increased affordability pressures for borrowers who are in work together with the lagged effect of job losses in the public sector and benefit cuts. We forecast this will lead to a slight increase in repossessions during the year to a total of between 35,000 and 40,000.”

“These forecasts are the most comprehensive available in the UK. They use live data from 320,000 UK mortgage accounts. Key factors such as the number of people included in the mortgage, levels of other debt, credit facilities and recent payment history are analysed to predict future borrower behaviour.

“This enables HML’s clients to more effectively manage their risks, identify customers who are likely to get into difficulties and support those borrowers most at risk of losing their homes.”