Repossessions last year fell to their lowest level for almost 30 years.

There were 4,580 home-owner possessions, the lowest since 1980.

That year, there were 3,480 possessions, and 6.2m outstanding mortgages. At the end of last year, there were 9m outstanding mortgages.

In the final quarter of last year, 1,130 home owner mortgaged properties were taken into possession, down 3% on the same period in 2017.

Last year also ended with 77,610 home owner mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more – 5% fewer than the previous year.

The number of buy-to-let mortgaged properties taken into possession in the last quarter of last year was 540, 14% down on the same period in 2017.

The number of buy-to-let mortgages where borrowers were in arrears of 2.5% or more in the last quarter of last year was 4,690 – unchanged from the previous year.

The figures, from trade body UK Finance, paint a slightly different picture to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Justice, also published yesterday, which show that potentially, the tide could be about to turn.

These show that mortgage possession claims increased by 30% between October and December last year in England and Wales.

Mortgage orders, warrants and repossessions by county court bailiffs were up by 29%, 30% and 5% respectively in the last quarter of last year, compared with the same period in 2017.

The average median time from claim to repossession rose to 55 weeks, compared with 42 weeks in the last quarter of 2017.

However, not all mortgage possession actions lead to actual repossessions and the Ministry of Justice does not disagree that there has been a fall in the number of mortgage possessions since 2008.

“Our model is based around flexibility and transparency”, explained James. “Our doors don’t close at 5pm like most estate agents. At James Black Homes we go further. We’re open from 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week, giving you greater flexibility.”