The number of buy to let investors who are behind on mortgage repayments has grown by 20 per cent in just one year, according to figures from UK Finance.
During the last three months of 2017 there were 1,200 buy to let mortgages in significant arrears of 10 per cent on higher. This is up a fifth in comparison to the same period the previous year. There were two per cent more mortgages in arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the balance in comparison to 2016.
The number of buy to let properties that were repossessed in the fourth quarter of 2017 stood at 600, similar to the same quarter of the previous year.
The highest number of landlord repossessions across the country were found in London.
The problem was not limited to the buy to let sector. The figures showed that there were 24,700 homeowners mortgages behind on repayments by 10 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017. However, this is largely the same as the previous year.
Head of mortgages at UK Finance, Paul Smee, explained: ‘Annual homeowner possessions currently stand at a 36-year low, with overall arrears and possessions continuing to decline. This reflects the mortgage industry’s continued commitment to appropriate and prudent lending. All potential borrowers are carefully assessed against their ability to pay back their loans, and lenders work closely with their customers to ensure that any payment issues are dealt with at an early stage. Anyone experiencing difficulty with their mortgage should contact their provider immediately.’
Managing director of Spicerhaart corporate sales, Mark Pilling, added: ‘Spicerhaart has also seen a growing trend of increasing repossessions in London, and it is not just lower cost houses, we have also seen an increase in repossessions of properties worth multi-millions. I think this is becoming more prevalent as interest-only deals from the 90s come to an end and landlords in London struggle to sell their properties at the prices they need to in order to clear their debt.’