Buy to let repossessions have hit the lowest level for six years, according to the latest figures from trade body The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
At the beginning of 2008, buy to let repossessions numbered around 8,000 in the first three months of the year and powered up to nearly 14,000 in the first quarter of 2009.
Since then, buy to let repossessions have sat at between 8,000 and 10,000 a quarter, but slowly saw a decline to around 6,000 in the final three months of last year.
Landlord mortgage arrears show the same story – gradually falling back towards pre-recession levels since 2009.
Overall, at 28,900, the number of repossessions reflected just 0.26% of outstanding mortgages.
Repossessions have steadily dropped since the most recent peak in 2009 of 48,900 (0.43%).
Mortgage arrears have also fallen. At the end of 2013, 1.29% of all mortgages owed arrears of at least 2.5% of the loan balance. This compares with 1.40% at the end of 2012, and a peak of 1.88% in the second quarter of 2009.
Commenting on the figures, CML director general Paul Smee said: “Mortgage arrears and repossessions continue to fall, with low interest rates, relatively strong employment, and lender practices all combining to keep most people in their homes even if problems arise.
“Lenders recognise that temporary changes to circumstances can knock households off track – we only need to look at the experiences of households affected by flooding right now to realise that life can contain unpleasant and unforeseen shocks.
“Anyone facing difficulty should talk to their lender, who will try to work with them towards a plan that will get them back on track so that they can sustain their home-ownership for the long term.”
Buy to let homes represent around 18% of all households, with private ownership accounting for just over 60% and social housing around 18%.