North-South repossession gap narrows

The North-South repossession gap closed by almost half in the last year, research from chartered surveyor e.surv has found.

In 2015 repossessions fell to 2.1 per 1,000 households in the North and 1.4 in 1,000 in the South, down from 4.1 and 2.8 the year before.

Repossessions fell by 51% year-on-year to total 19,672 in 2015.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “Repossession levels are retreating – and the narrowing North-South gap is the strongest sign of this decline.

“Fuelling these improvements has been the triple combination of rising employment, low inflation, and a consistently low base rate.

“More people than ever are managing to hang onto their homes and keep up with repayment schedules.”

Despite the narrowing repossession gap homeowners in Bolton (3.5 per 1,000 households) and Sunderland (3.1 per 1,000) were the worst repossession towns and Northern towns made up nine in 10 worst repossession postcodes.

Sexton added: “The North has faced heightened challenges to the South in recent years – the loss of public sector jobs, manufacturing industry decline and a tough recession – all of which hit homeowners and potential homebuyers.

“However, economic conditions in the North are now receiving more attention, with the Northern Powerhouse initiative and the future promise of devolution drawing more towns into the national spotlight.”

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