The Office for National Statistics published its summary for landlord and mortgage possession cases in the period January to March 2016 on 12 May 2016.
The report shows a reduction in landlord possession claims of 10% against the first quarter of 2015.
Almost a quarter of the 38,053 possession applications made were for accelerated possession, a percentage that shows a rise in the use of this faster procedure in the past 7 years.
Of the claims made for possession, 63% were on behalf of social landlords.
Some 29,049 possession orders were granted, 8% fewer than in the same quarter last year. Warrants for Possession were also down (5%) on last year and repossessions by County Court bailiffs totalled 10,968 – a drop of 3% on the previous year.
Mortgage possession claims are also down with 16% fewer being issued than in the first quarter of 2015. In mortgage possession cases there were 3,208 orders for possession, 4,836 warrants of possession and 1,355 repossessions by county court bailiffs; down 28%, 24% and 18% respectively compared to the same quarter last year, following a long-term downward trend seen since 2009 and no doubt affected by more stringent lending terms imposed since the recession.
Whilst claim numbers are down overall on the first quarter of 2015, seasonally adjusted figures show levels of claim are relatively stable when compared to the period October to December 2015. Unsurprisingly, bailiffs repossessions show a slightly higher number when seasonally adjusted figures are considered compared to the quarter to Christmas 2015.
On average, the period of time between the issue of a landlord possession claim to the making of an Order is 11 weeks. Worryingly, however, the time taken between the issue of a claim and execution of a Warrant by a Bailiff has increased to 45 weeks on average by quarter one of 2016. In 2009 the time taken to execution of a Warrant was a staggering 51 weeks – no doubt reflecting the pressures on the economy and therefore the Bailiffs at that time. This period reduced until mid-2015 since when it has been on the rise.
For the full ONS report please click here.