London Repossession Statistics – Q1 2008

London house repossessions

London house repossession – what’s happening in the City?

All of the UK’s regions are suffering, with Wales in particular facing an alarming rise in home repossessions. But what’s happening in London?

London, house repossession percentages during the first quarter of 2008 were actually lower than 2007.

London is traditionally viewed as a special case, with much higher house prices than the rest of the UK. Some view London like its own country, separate from the rest of the UK due to the immense amounts of cash flowing in and out. People who work in London are generally paid more than those who work outside the capital. Interest rises hit huge mortgage repayments hard and a quarter of a percent rise on an enormous mortgage can be crippling.

But, despite the risks, London has fared much better than the regions. But London house repossessions are predicted to rise.

Why has London fared better than the rest of the UK? There are many reasons, however, the word ‘scarcity’ has to be mentioned. Scarcity of land and the fact that people have to live somewhere close to work make any house or flat in London more valuable and its scarcity less likely to be diluted through mass development on say farmland… what farmland? Exactly!

Note the few London boroughs that did have higher repossessions when compared to 2007. They are areas with more land and generally relaxed planning regulations both of which contribute to increased development. Maybe supply of dwellings increased too quickly in these areas and diluted the value of existing homes and flats?

We’ll compare the number of London house repossession orders made in the city’s county courts in quarter one 2007 to the same time period in 2008.

London house repossessions – the facts

•    Barnet endured 148 mortgage repossession orders during January to March 2008, a reduction of 3% on the same period last year.
•    Bow 441, 33% fewer repossession orders than last year.
•    Brentford 194, 24% more than in 2007
•    Bromley 278, up 14%
•    Central London 77, down 13%
•    Clerkenwell and Shoreditch 163, down 18%
•    Croydon 421, down 2%
•    Edmonton 342, down 4%
•    Kingston–on-Thames 78, down 7%
•    Lambeth 268, down 8%
•    Mayors and City 0
•    Romford 290, up 11%
•    Uxbridge 158, up 10%
•    Wandsworth 104, down 24%
•    West London 42, down 48%
•    Willesden 269, up 31%
•    Other London 400, up 3%

London house repossession – dramatic swings

•    There’s a tremendous range of London house repossession figures for London. West London has seen a 48% reduction in mortgage repossession orders over the same period in 2007, Bow 33% fewer and Wandsworth 24% less.

•    In stark contrast, Willesden has seen an increase of 31% and Brentford a sharp rise of 24%
See the full story! You’ll find the Ministry of Justice’s latest figures for London house repossessions (May 2008) at: Justice.gov.uk

Why do you think that repossessions increased in the areas highlighted above and not others? Make a comment below and contribute to this article.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • James says:

    Valuers on the ground do not see core London house prices falling by 30%, only the most pessimistic believe that. Properties that will and have fallen heavily are new build flats and homes surrounded by green space where further development can dilute the properties around them. Properties that are not inherently scare. Good London properties are scare by nature. Another category to be hit are those houses and flats which were being marketed far beyond their ‘real’ value back in summer 2007. There were properties on the market by unmotivated sellers, landlords with multiple homes that had all increased dramatically in value. Their theory was, if someone buys at this ridiculous high price, great… I’ll sell! We have often seen such properties touted as the example ‘proving’ wild accusations of 30% falls in London. We would like to see more real data of multiple properties which were properly marketed and sold ‘at arms length’ in say August 2007 and the same property sold now. Has it really dropped 30% ? Do people have real examples of actual 30% drops in value that are not new builds and are scare commodities within Zone 1, 2 and 3 of London?

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