Official Statistics

Mortgage and landlord possession statistics: January to March 2013

Quarterly National Statistics on possession claim actions in county courts by mortgage lenders and social and private landlords.

Documents

Mortgage and landlord possession statistics quarterly - January to March 2013

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Mortgage and landlord possession - statistical tables - quarter 1 - 2013 (Excel)

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Mortgage and landlord possession - statistical tables - quarter 1 - 2013 (CSV)

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Court level figures 1987-2013 quarter 1 (CSV)

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Local Authority level figures 2000-2013 quarter 1 (CSV)

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Guide to local authority and court-level information

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Detail

Earlier editions: Mortgage and landlord possession statistics


Mortgage and landlord possession statistics - January to March 2013

Quarterly National Statistics on possession actions in county courts by mortgage lenders and social and private landlords in England and Wales.

The quarterly releases are released by the Ministry of Justice and produced in accordance with arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority. The bulletin presents the latest statistics on the numbers of mortgage and landlord possession actions in the county courts of England and Wales. These statistics are a leading indicator of the number of properties to be repossessed and the only source of sub-national possession information. In addition to monitoring court workloads, they are used to assist in the development, monitoring and evaluation of policy both nationally and locally.

Executive summary

Mortgage

The number of mortgage possession claims in County Courts increased from 2003 to a peak in 2008, but has fallen 60 per cent since then to 14,375 in the first quarter of 2013. At the same time the number of claims rose, the estimated proportion of claims which have progressed to an order, warrant or repossession by county court bailiffs also increased from 2003 to around 2009 or 2010, but has fallen slightly since.

The fall in the number of mortgage possession claims since 2008 coincides with lower interest rates, a proactive approach from lenders in managing consumers in financial difficulties and other interventions from the government, such as the Mortgage Rescue Scheme.

The North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside, and Wales have a relatively high number of mortgage repossession claims per household, while the East, South East, London and South West have a lower number. In the first quarter of 2013, the highest region, the North West, has 80 per cent more possessions claims per household than the lowest region, the South West.

Landlord

The number of landlord possession claims in County Courts fell from 2003 to 2008, but has increased since then by 26 per cent to 42,520 in the first quarter of 2013. The estimated proportion of claims which have progressed to an order, warrant or repossession by county court bailiffs have been increasing slightly since 2009. Local authorities with a relatively high number of landlord claims per household were generally urban authorities or smaller unitary authorities that included a small city. Local authorities with a lower number of landlord claims per household tend to be more rural areas, or tend to be larger geographically and include a mixture of cities and more rural areas. In the first quarter of 2013, the highest region, London, has over four times as many possessions claims per household as the lowest region, the South West.

Planned Changes

We are planning to make some changes to this bulletin which are outlined below. If you would like to comment on any of these proposals or if you have any other feedback or questions about this statistical bulletin, or requests for further information, please direct them to statistics.enquires@justice.gsi.gov.uk

Seasonally adjusted figures:

We are planning to discontinue production of these tables, as feedback suggested limited customer use, as customers prefer the clarity of using actual figures rather than adjusted figures.

Tables 5 and 6:

We are planning to discontinue production of Tables 5 and 6 which provide breakdowns at the national level of landlord possession claims and claims lead to orders by type of landlord and procedure. Instead we are planning to provide that information at the local level in the supplementary CSV. This will provide users with the local picture regarding this data and allow users to aggregate it in ways that suit their own needs. Those users who would prefer to use the tables can request them from the Ministry of Justice using the contact provided at the end of this report.

Measuring the volume of orders, warrants and repossessions:

Currently, figures are provided are claims that lead to orders, claims that lead to warrants, and claims that lead to repossessions. This counts the number of orders, warrants or repossessions that are unique to a claim, so that if one claim has two or more orders only the first is counted. We are proposing to replace those with the total number of orders, warrants and repossessions. We believe this will be simpler to understand and will be a more accurate reflection of the court workload.

Mortgage and landlord possession statistical tables (CSV):

This CSV contains the same information as the main tables with some additional breakdowns between 1999 and 2007 by quarter. We are planning to discontinue production of this output. Feedback from customers suggests there is rather limited use of this output, as customers find the main tables more straightforward to understand and can find quarterly information from the other supplementary CSV, which also provide local breakdowns on a quarterly basis.

As a result of these proposed changes the possessions publication will consist of a:

  • bulletin describing headline results,
  • supported by tables providing headline results,
  • supported by CSV providing court-level and local-authority breakdowns on a wider range of variables than in the main tables,
  • supported by a guide which explain how to get the most out of the CSV.

We believe this format provides the best balance between providing a clear description of the main trends in the data and allowing the greatest freedom for users to carry out analysis in areas they have a particular interest in.

Revision and pre-release policy

Revisions:

The statistics for the first quarter of 2013 are provisional, and are therefore liable to revision to take account of any late amendments to the administrative databases from which these statistics are sourced. The standard process for revising the published statistics to account for these late amendments is as follows. An initial revision to the statistics for the latest quarter may be made when the next edition of this bulletin is published. Final figures for this quarter, and for other quarters in the same calendar year, will be published in the bulletin presenting the statistics for the first of the following year.

Pre-release: The bulletin is produced and handled by the ministry’s analytical professionals and production staff. Pre-release access of up to 24 hours is granted to the following persons:

Ministry of Justice: Secretary of State, Minister of State, Permanent Secretary, Director of Access to Justice policy and the relevant special adviser, one policy officer and three press officers. Communities and Local Government: Minister of State (Housing), Housing Markets and Planning Analysis Economist and Statistician and the relevant policy official and press officer.

HM Treasury: Two relevant policy officers.