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24
JUN
2011

New research shows repossession hotspots

New research released by the housing and homelessness charity Shelter shows the nation’s repossession hotspots.

Shelter’s new research shows the places in England with the highest proportion of homeowners who have been issued with a possession order, and therefore are at serious risk of being repossessed.

With experts predicting repossessions will rise to 45,000 next year, the charity is highlighting the research to encourage homeowners who will be hit when interest rates rise to start preparing now for higher mortgage costs so they don’t find themselves at risk further down the line.

Shelter conducted the research by analysing the latest Ministry of Justice data on the rates of claims leading to possession orders per 1,000 households across every local authority. In total there were 65 local authorities identified as repossession hotspots because they are in the top fifth nationally of all the local authorities.

The analysis shows that Corby in the East Midlands is currently the country’s top hotspot, having the highest rate of at risk homeowners, closely followed by Barking and Dagenham and Newham in London, Knowsley in Merseyside and Thurrock in East of England.

The results also reveal worrying groups of local authorities in parts of the county, including a ribbon of repossession hotspots across the North from Merseyside to the Humber, large parts of Tyneside, a cluster of Kent and Essex coastal towns along with areas of East Anglia.

The research also found a strong link between unemployment and rates of possession orders with unemployment having risen at more than double within the hotspots in comparison to the least at risk areas.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter said:

“This research paints a frightening picture of repossession hotspots across the country where homeowners are literally on the brink of losing the roof over their head.

“We know only too well that the combined pressures of high inflation, increased living costs and stagnant wages are really taking a toll on people. All it takes is one thing like job loss to tip people over the edge and into the spiral of debt, repossession and ultimately homelessness.

“And with interest rates due to increase in the near future this research is a clear warning sign of difficult times ahead for many thousands of homeowners across the country.

“It is absolutely vital that struggling homeowners, in particular those at risk when interest rates rise, get help before things spiral out of control and they risk losing their home.”

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