Shelter map identifies high-risk repossession areas
Barking and Dagenham comes out as England’s top hotspot in a ‘repossessions map’ released by housing charity Shelter.
The charity has used the latest Ministry of Justice figures to show where across the country homeowners face the biggest risk of repossession (see map, below).
Second on the list is Knowsley in the north west and then Thurrock in the east of England. Lewisham in south London and Rossendale, also in the north west, come in at fourth and fifth place.
Repossession risk varies widely across the country, the research found, and there is a strong link between rising unemployment and repossession.
There is an ‘unbroken band’ of areas in the highest risk category stretching across the north of England from Merseyside in the north west to Humberside in the east.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘Most people think that repossession will never happen to them, but rising unemployment, rising living costs and high house prices mean that many people are living close to the edge already, and risk falling into a spiral of debt and repossession.
‘The journey from being a homeowner to becoming homeless is frighteningly swift, with just one small thing like a wage cut, a health problem or a job loss meaning that a family can no longer meet their mortgage payments.’
Housing is the largest monthly cost for many homeowners, yet the affordability of housing is not getting the same government attention as the monthly costs of other essentials such as food or energy bills, he added.