7. Mortgage Arrears & Possessions
There were 9,489 regulated mortgages that went into arrears across the UK in Q2 2022, an annual increase of 8.0% (705), although this is from very low levels in Q2 2021. As shown in Chart 7.1, following a peak of 39,556 in Q4 2008 during the financial crisis, there has been a declining trend in the number of regulated mortgages entering arrears, which has continued despite the impact of Covid-19. It should be noted that Covid-19 payment holidays were not classified as technical arrears, and thus are not reflected in these figures; however, even though these payment holidays came to an end in April 2021, this has not resulted in a substantial increase in arrears so far, with arrears still below pre-pandemic levels. (Source: FCA)
The share of lenders' outstanding regulated mortgage balances that were in arrears stood at 0.76% at the end of Q2 2022. This has remained broadly stable during the pandemic, with arrears at 0.86% at the end of Q1 2020. Chart 7.2 plots the share of lenders' outstanding balances that were in arrears by degree of severity. Arrears reported in the FCA MLAR data relate only to loans where the amount of actual arrears is 1.5% or more of the borrower's current loan balance.
UK Finance data show that there were 5,640 buy-to-let mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance across the UK in Q2 2022. This is down by an annual 9.9% (-620), and is also low relative to the period of the 2008 financial crisis. The number of buy-to-let mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more as a percentage of the total number of buy-to-let mortgages was 0.28% as at Q2 2022, slightly lower than Q2 2021 (0.31%).
Chart 7.3 shows that despite restrictions on possessions being lifted since 1 April 2021, there were only 835 new regulated mortgage possessions across the UK in Q2 2022. While this was an increase relative to Q1 2022 of 216 (+34.9%), and the level of possessions also increased over the year, possessions are still substantially lower (down 415, or 33.2%) relative to Q2 2019, prior to the pandemic.
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