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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Repossessions now running at their lowest-ever recorded level

The Council of Mortgage Lenders says the number of repossessions in the first quarter of 2016 was 2,100 - the lowest ever on record. 

If this rate continues the council says it would put the annual number of repossessions at 8,400, lower than any year since 1982 when there were only 6.9m mortgages, against 11.1m today.

In the first quarter there were just 1,500 owner-occupier repossessions and 600 buy to let repos. 

Mortgage arrears also continued to fall. For the first time in more than a decade, the number of mortgages in arrears of 2.5 per cent or more fell below the 100,000 mark, with 96,200 loans in arrears at the end of March.

This was down from 101,700 at the end of December, and 111,200 at the end of the first quarter of 2015.

The number of mortgages in the most serious arrears band of 10 per cent or more, which has remained fairly static while the lower arrears bands have declined, fell a little this quarter according to the CML.

Even so, separate data from the Ministry of Justice - based on court activity - shows that eviction rates are much higher, especially in the social rented sector. 

For example, there were 42,728 rental evictions in England and Wales by county court bailiffs in 2015, against 5,594 mortgaged property repossessions by county court bailiffs, even though the rented sector accounts for only around a third of the housing stock.

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