There's a stark warning about the number of homes in the North West at risk of being repossessed. Homeless charity Shelter named Knowlsey in Merseyside as the second worst in the country. Rochdale, Blackburn and Darwen were also revealed as hotspots.
Shelter’s ‘Repossession Risk Hotspots’ uses the latest figures for 2011/121 to show where across the country homeowners face the highest risk of repossession.
Barking and Dagenham came out as the nation's top hotspot, closely followed by Knowsley in the North West, and Thurrock in East of England. Lewisham in South London and Rossendale, also in the North West, come in at fourth and fifth place.
The results reveal distinct clusters of hotspots in certain parts of the country, with an almost unbroken band stretching over the north of England from Merseyside in the North West to Humberside in the east, with a spike extending south into Derbyshire.
Top 10 repossession hotspots:
- Barking and Dagenham in London - 8.44
- Knowsley in the North West - 7.20
- Thurrock in the East - 6.51
- Lewisham in London - 6.46
- Rossendale in the North West - 6.46
- Rochdale in the North West - 6.41
- Blackburn and Darwen in the North West - 6.16
- Burnley in the North West - 6.11
- Newham in London - 6.07
- Luton in the East - 6.00
Chief Executive of Shelter, Campbell Robb, 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.
“When repossession happens, the impact on families is devastating – research shows people think repossession is worse than having to fight a child custody battle.”
“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.
“If you are struggling with mortgage arrears, you may be able to negotiate with your mortgage provider and avoid repossession, so seek advice from organisations like Shelter as soon as your problems start. Visit shelter.org.uk/advice or call free on 08088 004 444.”