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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Repossessions plunge as North-South gap closes

The number of home repossessions fell 45% across England and Wales over the last year as the economy recovered.

The gap between home repossessions in the North and South has closed sharply since the recession, according to new research by e.surv chartered surveyors, published today.

There were 1.1 repossessions per 1,000 households in the North in the first half of 2015 compared to 0.7 in the South.

By comparison, in 2008 repossession rates stood at 8.2 per 1,000 in the North and 5.9 in the South.

This means the divide has closed by 80% across this seven-year period and by 43% over the last year.

Across England & Wales, total home repossessions fell from 23,279 in the first half of last year, to 10,401 in the same period this year, a drop of 45%.

Although the North has close the gap, almost eight out of 10 towns in the region have a higher than average repossession rate, including unemployment blackspots such as Bolton, Oldham, Liverpool and Manchester.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said rising wages and negative inflation are making living costs more affordable.

“These economic changes are also having a real impact on those feeling the strain and potentially facing repossession.

“A healthier lending market is enabling people to search for cheaper mortgage options and regulatory changes, such as MMR, are making a real difference in protecting borrowers from committing to potentially unaffordable mortgages in the first place."

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