Mortgage Repossessions highest in Blackpool, Slough and Thurrock
According to figures released in November 2019 by the Ministry of Justice, the third quarter of 2019 saw an unwelcome increase in the number of mortgage possession warrants issued. The three worst-affected areas of England spanned from the northwestern coastal resort of Blackpool down to Slough in Berkshire and eastwards to the borough of Thurrock.Adjoining the north bank of the Thames estuary, the local authority area of Thurrock came a notorious third from the top of a list of repossessions by location. In this part of Essex, owner-occupiers saw an average of 57 possession orders issued per hundred thousand households between July and September of 2019. Ranking in second place was Slough, with 60 repossession proceedings executed for every 100,000 homes.
At the top of the report was the de facto black spot for property owners of Blackpool, Lancashire. There, due to mortgage arrears, lenders repossessed around 83 homes per 100,000 during Q3 2019. Thus, the Victorian seaside town managed to notch up the highest total of repossessions in England and Wales during the three months covered by the published statistics.
Across England and Wales, by early autumn of 2019, the total number of property possession orders granted had increased by nearly a third (31 per cent) by comparison to the previous year (Q3 2018). When events duly followed their course, executed repossessions rose by an alarming 29 per cent. As concerned estate agents and affected mortgage customers will have noted, the average amount outstanding in overdue mortgage accounts was some £3,005.
In contrast, the three local areas with fewest repossession warrants granted to lenders were Broadland in Norfolk (5.3 cases per 100,000 households), Maldon in Essex (3.6) and Woking, Surrey with just 4.8. Situated within the London commuter belt and relatively prosperous, Woking’s residential offering typically finds favour among affluent professionals.
Remarkably, on a more positive note, no residential property repossessions occurred during the period in question on the Isles of Scilly. Situated twenty-eight miles south-west of Land’s End, the average price for residential property on the tranquil Cornish archipelago was £466,847 in June 2020.
With the news of upward trends in repossession rates very much in mind, debt charity StepChange also voiced concern that more than one in six householders (18 per cent) faced regular financial worry. In addition to mortgage loans, outgoings on other secured loans and rising electricity bills were squeezing domestic budgets for individuals and families alike.
Meanwhile, industry commentators and personal finance experts repeated their recommendations and advice for homeowners struggling to meet monthly bills. Owner-occupiers threatened by a mortgage lender’s possession order should try to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the bank, building society or other financial institution concerned, while seeking legal advice as soon as possible.