The difference in the quantity of repossessions in the South and North of England has increased to its highest level in over 6 years, a study by e.surv Chartered Surveyors has indicated.
The data has highlighted that 33% more houses suffered repossession in the Northern section of England than the South, implying that the gap is growing more and more is time passes by.
The study evaluated court-ordered repossessions in the year between July 2012 and 2013 and found that the repossession rate in the North was 0.32% compared to 0.24% in the South.
Despite this, the number of national repossessions has been shown to have dropped by a massive 17% in the same period, with over 11,000 less houses being taken during that time. This represents a 0.5% decrease for the year from 3.3% to 2.%;
Following the recession, the government has sought to aid homeowners who are suffering financially to retain ownership of their homes by pushing secured loan providers to be more lenient with their repayment requirements.
Limited term offers such as payment holidays, short term repayment decreases and changing debtors to interest-only mortgages have been pushed for by the government in order to give people the best chance possible to keep ownership of their property.
The changes have experienced a certain degree of success, as the national drop in repossessions indicates, but has nevertheless failed to sufficiently alleviate the burden that some low income households are currently experiencing.
The North West in particular appears to be struggling the most with repossession with 80& of towns there displayed higher repossession rates than the national average, compared to 24% in the South.
At a postcode level, Chester had the highest rate of repossessions. There were 8.4 repossessions per 1,000 households in the year to July – three times the UK average of 2.8 repossessions per 1,000 households.
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors has identified that the South have benefited greater from the economic recovery, whilst the impact in the North has yet to be realised. He added that the reduction of public sector jobs has resulted in greater repossessions in the North, as the lack of employment, and high levels of inflation have begun to catch up with people in the area.
“On a national level, repossessions are falling, as the economy slowly crawls back to health.mortgages are becoming cheaper, wages are slowly picking up, and the labour market is showing more vitality. But the recovery has been more pronounced in the South, driven forward by booming property and labour markets in the capital and home-counties.
In areas like Yorkshire and the North West, wages are recovering more slowly, and fewer jobs on offer. As a region, the North has traditionally depended on public sector jobs, but a squeeze in public sector funding has led to loss of jobs for many, and very slow pay increases for others. Pay increases that are consistently below the rate of inflation, have further tightened household budgets, and caused many to fall behind on mortgage repayment”, he said.