Repossession hotspots revealed

21 June 2011

A map of reposession hotspots in England

Shelter's research has revealed the places in England with the highest proportion of homeowners who are at serious risk of repossession.

Our analysis shows that Corby in the East Midlands is the country’s top hotspot, having the highest rate of homeowners at risk, closely followed by Barking and Dagenham and Newham in London, Knowsley in the North West and Thurrock in East of England.

Are you worried about repossession? Get advice

See England’s repossession hotspots on our map

65 local authorities have been identified as repossession hotspots because they are in the top fifth nationally.

The results reveal worrying groups of local authorities in parts of the county, including a red ribbon of repossession hotspots across the North from Merseyside to the Humber, large parts of Tyneside, a cluster of Kent and Essex coastal towns and a collection of areas around the Wash in East Anglia.

The research also found a strong link between unemployment and rates of possession orders, with unemployment having risen at more than double the rate in hotspots, compared to the least at-risk areas.

See Shelter's 'Repossessions Hotspots' report with a breakdown of all local authorities

As the Council of Mortgage Lenders predicts repossessions will rise to 45,000 in 2012, Shelter is encouraging homeowners to start preparing now for higher mortgage costs, so they don’t find themselves at risk of losing their home when interest rates rise.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive said: ‘This research paints a frightening picture of repossession hotspots across the country where homeowners are on the brink of losing the roof over their head.

‘We know only too well that the combined pressures of high inflation, increased living costs and stagnant wages are really taking a toll on people. All it takes is one thing like job loss to tip people over the edge and into the spiral of debt, repossession and ultimately homelessness.

‘And with interest rates due to increase in the near future, this research is a clear warning sign of difficult times ahead for many thousands of homeowners across the country.’

Mr Robb continued: ‘It is absolutely vital that struggling homeowners, in particular those at risk when interest rates rise, get help before things spiral out of control and they risk losing their home.’

Worried about repossession? Get advice

About the research

Shelter analysed the latest Ministry of Justice data on the rates of claims leading to possession orders per 1,000 households across every local authority.

Shelter‘s definition of an ‘at risk homeowner’ is a homeowner who has been issued with a possession order for their home. This is an advanced stage of the repossession process and while these homes are not all certain to be repossessed there is a serious risk that they will be.