Barking And Dagenham Named Top Repossession Hotspot
|London local authority Barking and Dagenham has the highest repossession risk in England, Shelter's new research reveals.
Shelter's Repossession Risk Hotspots show where homeowners face the highest risk of repossession across the country, based on the number of ‘possession claims’ issued in each local authority in England in 2011/12.
The results reveal distinct clusters of hotspots, with an almost unbroken band stretching over the north of England, from Merseyside in the north west to Humberside in the east.
Repossession risk varies widely across the country, with Barking and Dagenham more than twice as high as the national average, and almost eight times as high as that in west Dorset.
The top five hotspots are:
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Local authority Region
Barking and Dagenham London
Knowsley North west
Thurrock East of England
Rossendale North west
The research also shows a strong link between rising unemployment and repossession, with unemployment in hotspot areas rising at a much greater rate than areas with the lowest risk.
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s Chief Executive said: "Most people think that repossession will never happen to them, but rising unemployment, high living costs and even higher 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 can be 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."
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