Repossession levels in the north and south of England have closed by 80 per cent since the end of the recession, according to research by e.surv chartered surveyors.
On average, there were 1.1 repossessions per 1,000 households in the north in the first half of 2015 compared to 0.7 in the south.
By comparison, in 2008 repossession rates stood at 8.2 per 1,000 households in the north and 5.9 in the south, a difference of 2.3. This means the divide has closed by 80 per cent across this seven year period.
Over the past 12 months this north-south divide narrowed by a smaller margin, 43 per cent, suggesting the ‘bridging’ of the gap is accelerating as the economy improves.
In absolute terms, across England and Wales total home repossessions have declined to 10,401 in the first half of this year from 23,279 in the first half of 2014.
As a result, the average rate of repossessions stands at 0.9 per 1,000 households, compared to a rate of 2.1 repossessions per 1,000 households.
“Rising wages and negative inflation are making living costs more affordable, giving people room to save. But these economic changes are also having a real impact on those feeling the strain and potentially facing repossession. A healthier lending market is enabling people to search for cheaper mortgage options and regulatory changes, such as MMR, are making a real difference in protecting borrowers from committing to potentially unaffordable mortgages in the first place” according to Richard Sexton, director of e.surv.
The ‘top 10’ repossession postcodes are led by Bolton, followed by Sunderland, Oldham, Liverpool and Manchester, and then Bradford, Ilford, Romford, Newport and Blackburn.