Northern Ireland

Mortgage repossessions: Slight fall in NI cases in 2013

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Image caption The number of repossession cases has remained steady over the last five years

The number of mortgage repossession cases coming before the courts in NI fell slightly last year.

There were 3,694 cases initiated in 2013 compared to 3,732 in 2012, a 1% fall.

However, the number of cases has stayed broadly steady over the last five years - in 2008 there were 3,630 new cases.

Northern Ireland suffered one of the most severe house prices crashes in economic history contributing to an elevated level of repossessions.

There was a bigger fall in the number of cases disposed of - those cases in which the court makes a decision.

In 2013 there were 2,741 disposals, a fall of 13% compared to 3,157 in 2012.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has set up a housing repossessions task force to investigate the issue of negative equity and repossessions in Northern Ireland.

The minister established the group because he said he continues to be concerned about "the considerable number of households facing mortgage difficulties and legal actions for repossession of their homes".

The task force is due to produce an initial research report detailing the extent and nature of the repossessions issue in Northern Ireland by the end of June.

Outcomes from this research will then inform the future work of the task force in making recommendations for potential mitigating actions by the end of this year.

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