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StepChange responds to mortgage and landlord repossession statistics

10 August 2023

New figures from the Government and UK Finance released today show increasing difficulties for both mortgage holders and renters, as levels of mortgage arrears and landlord repossessions increased in the second quarter of 2023.

UK Finance’s mortgage arrears and possession statistics show the number of homeowner mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more grew by 7% on the previous quarter, while the government’s mortgage and landlord repossession statistics show possession claims increased by 15% compared to the same quarter in 2022.

The Government’s statistics also show that compared to the same quarter in 2022, landlord possession claims increased by 24% compared to 2022, while county court repossessions increased by 19%.

Richard Lane, StepChange Director of External Affairs said:

“It’s no surprise to see mortgage arrears and possession claims for mortgage holders continuing to rise. Our clients are telling us that they’re facing a perfect storm of rising costs and financial pressures.

"We know when households face significant rises in costs, as many millions are right now, that people cut back on spending or turn to credit to keep up with essentials and the wider cost of living. For many, these coping strategies will be unsustainable and store up financial problems further down the road.

“Protections brought in by government and mortgage lenders to mitigate the difficulties are welcome and will help to keep people in their homes over the coming months, but we would urge policy makers to monitor the situation closely and keep further inventions to support people who are struggling on the table if necessary.

“It’s equally concerning to see the continued rise in the number of landlord possession claims on rented properties. The government must not ignore the impact of this crisis on private renters, who are facing unprecedented hikes in rent with little support in place for those who fall into financial difficulty. While a 12 month freeze on mortgage repossession has been instated, private sector tenants, who include families and people with vulnerabilities, have no such protections. The Renter’s (Reform) Bill needs to do more to recognise the intense financial pressure on private sector tenants and the support they - and landlords - need to help keep their homes.”

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