HML: Greater London to be repossession hotspot

HML believes the region will see 1,383 repossessions, followed by the South East (1,359) and the North West (1,099).

The East Midlands is expected to have the least number of repossessions (523), followed by the North (533) and the South West (648).

In terms of the rate of repossessions Northern Ireland is set to be the worst offender (0.27%), followed by Wales (0.14%) and Greater London (0.13%).

Damian Riley, director of business intelligence at HML, said: “In some cases, lenders might want to give their customers breathing space during the economic recovery.

“While low wage growth and increasing concerns about households’ ability to meet higher mortgage repayments when interest rates rise sets alarm bells ringing for some lenders, they also realise that now is probably the best of times to repay or reduce mortgage arrears, while interest rates remain low.

“On the other hand, climbing house prices and improved economic sentiment (including an unemployment rate of 6.4%) could mean lenders decide to take a tougher stance, and this could result in a higher number of repossessions than we have forecast.

“In our February regional repossession forecast, the unemployment rate stood at 7.1%, so it’s clear how quickly this number is falling.”

In terms of HML’s analysis of the whole of 2014 Northern Ireland again takes top spot with a repossession rate at 0.74%, followed by Greater London (0.26%) and Wales (0.26%).

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders 25,000 repossessions are expected in 2014, although HML predicts the figure to stand at 22,543.

Riley added: “HML’s advice remains the same; customers with concerns about their mortgage payments need to speak to their lender as soon as possible.

“This means you are more likely to find a solution that satisfies both you and your lender and the less likely you are to be repossessed.”