“The fact the number of repossessions was 17% lower in the first quarter of 2013, compared with the same time last year, is a clear sign of an ongoing responsible approach to mortgage lending. With both repossessions and arrears having stabilised in recent months, the trend bodes well for the future given the anticipated growth in the mortgage market.
“Proactive communication between lenders and borrowers was highlighted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a critical step to helping those with interest-only mortgages approaching maturity. It is encouraging to see this already in evidence with more borrowers across the board able to manage their payments effectively and fewer properties taken into possession.
“Looking ahead, we understand the Help To Buy mortgage guarantee scheme may include strict loan-to-income criteria which will go beyond the rules on affordability enshrined in the Mortgage Market Review (MMR). While recognising the need to protect the government’s stake, it is vital that the emphasis on responsible lending does not spill over into a burden of excess rules and requirements, when the MMR rules will offer plenty of protection both to the government and borrowers.”