Mortgage and landlord possession statistics January to March 2020

The latest quarterly statistics have been released by the Ministry of Justice. The period covers January to March 2020 and, as such, incorporates the first days of the lockdown which began on 23rd March.

On 17th March 2020, the Government announced additional support for homeowners and renters, that was aimed at limiting the impact of short-term hardships they might face.

Mortgage possession claims

Compared to the same quarter the previous year, there has been an 18% decrease in mortgage possession claims (from 6,158 to 5,028), mortgage orders for possession have decreased by 16% (from 4,296 to 3,615), warrants by 27% (from 4,754 to 3,466) and repossessions by 21% (from 1,315 to 1,036).

Landlord possession claims

In January to March 2020, the greater proportion - 58% (14,119) - of all landlord possession claims were social landlord claims and 18% (4,317) of those were accelerated claims. 24% (5,885) were private landlord claims.

The number of landlord possession actions for all court stages has decreased, continuing the long-term decreasing trend seen since April-June 2014. Compared to the same quarter the previous year, landlord possession claims (24,321), orders for possession (19,141), warrants (12,142) and repossessions (7,070) have all seen a decrease.

Landlord possession claims and repossessions highest in London

Landlord possession claim rates were highest in London, which had 9 of the 10 highest rates. Brent in London had the highest rate (289 per 100,000 households).

Landlord repossessions were highest in the London Borough of Newham, with 118 per 100,000 households. Landlord repossessions were concentrated in London (London had 7 of the 10 highest rates).

The next quarterly statistics

The next quarterly statistics will be seriously affected by the impact of the pandemic. The pandemic has meant that all possession proceedings have been delayed and therefore possession cases will be at all-time lows; these are likely to rise after the courts are able to open and process claims in the usual way.

So, whilst the next quarter statistics will be close to zero, the following quarter may be a very different story.

The enforcement of writs of possession

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