SUNDERLAND is the worst place in the North East for home reposessions, a survey by homeless charity Shelter revealed today.
Its Repossession Risk Hotspots study used the latest figures to map the country’s blackspots for householders losing their properties.
The North East had the highest risk of repossession nationally, and Sunderland topped the table in region, with 5.35 possession claims per 1,000 homes.
Eight out of 12 North East local authorities were identified as repossession hotspots. County Durham, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool also featured high on the list.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “Most people think that repossession will never happen to them.
“However, rising unemployment, high living costs and high house prices mean that many people in the North East are living close to the edge already, and risk falling into a spiral of debt and repossession.”
The national average of repossession stands at 3.50 per every 100 homes, ranking Sunderland at 31 out of 324 areas nationally.
Mr Robb said: “The journey from being a homeowner to becoming homeless is 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.
“If you are struggling with mortgage arrears, you may be able to negotiate with your mortgage provider and avoid repossession, so seek advice from organisations like Shelter as soon as your problems start,” added Mr Robb.
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