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.
The number of mortgage possession claims in County Courts increased from 2003 to a peak in 2008, but has fallen 60% since then to 14,000 in the third quarter of 2013. The fall in mortgage claims has been spread evenly across all regions of the country.
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.
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 number of landlord possession claims in County Courts fell from 2003 to 2008, but has increased since 2010 by 29% to 45,000 in the third 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.
Revision and pre-release policy
Revisions: The statistics for the third 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.
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.
Two relevant policy officers.