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Low interest rates and high employment levels bode well for mortgage management

The number of people struggling to pay their mortgage has fallen as employment levels grow and interest rates remain low.

In the three months to the end of September this year, only 88,300 homeowners were in significant arrears with their payments – the lowest since records began.

The news also suggests that lenders are more open to working with homeowners to work around any financial difficulties and only resorting to repossession as a last resort.

However, the number of homes being repossessed did increase slightly to 1,900, but still well below the 12,000 homes taken back by lenders each quarter in 2009.

June Deasy, head of mortgage policy at UK Finance suggested that, despite the number of repossessions increasing slightly, the figures still look positive.

“Even a small rise in mortgage possessions is disappointing but, after a long period of declining numbers, it was inevitable that they would rise again at some stage.

“Both arrears and possessions remain low by historical standards and look set to be lower for the year than we predicted at the start of 2017.”

Read more: 80 percent want to own their own home

Aside from being good news for homeowners, few repossessions also mean there are less forced sales entering the marketplace, helping to maintain property asking prices. It’s also good news for those renting with just 600 buy-to-let landlords seeing properties taken off their hands.

And although interest rates have increased 0.25% this year, it’s expected that the monthly repayment for homeowners will increase by just £20 on a typical £150,000 variable rate mortgage.