...but repossessions now hitting the north

MORTGAGE holders in northern regions are more likely to lose their homes to lenders than people in the south, a group of surveyors said yesterday.

Parts of the north east and north west of England have significantly higher rates of repossession, the data from e.surv found, though the group added that banks are trying to avoid repossessing people’s homes.

While the average rate of repossessions across the UK is 15 in every 10,000 households, the rate is as high as 24 in places such as Durham and Darlington, while north west towns such as Oldham fare even worse. The highest rate was recorded in Chester, with 53 court-ordered repossessions per 10,000 households.

In parts of the south such as Oxfordshire, rates are as low as 12 repossessions per 10,000 houses.

“Banks are playing a vital role in keeping people in their homes – they’ve been increasingly forbearing to borrowers in mortgages in arrears, and this has kept repossessions levels deflated,” said e.surv’s Richard Sexton.

“But it can’t last forever. The pace of public sector austerity is quickening, and the economy has ground to a standstill. This will push up unemployment and pillage personal finances, forcing more people into mortgage arrears,” Sexton warned.

Despite the south faring well, parts of London, Kent and Essex have high levels of repossession, the group added.