Buy-to-let arrears fall back to pre-credit crunch levels

A buy-to-let lender says that its arrears have fallen back to the same level as they were before the credit crunch.

Specialist lender CHL Mortgages said that its figures for quarter one of this year reveal that only 1.95% of all its mortgages were over 90 days in arrears.

This is a 45% drop on the same period 12 months ago. CHL's levels for mortgages over 30 days in arrears have also fallen significantly.

The lender also revealed positive arrears news with regard to the £295m buy-to-let portfolio it manages on behalf of Irish Permanent International. From the time it took on the management of the book in December to the end of quarter one this year, CHL achieved a 50% reduction of the arrears levels within the book.

The portfolio has a variety of properties, borrowers and products. Borrowers are spread across over 40 legal jurisdictions, with securities in England, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Bob Young, managing director at CHL Mortgages, said: "The start of the credit crunch back in 2008 seems a long time ago, given what has happened in the intervening years.

"Our arrears levels peaked back in February 2009 and, since then, have continued with the downward trend back to where we are today.

"While there is considerable concern in the industry about the high arrears and possession levels of some specialist lenders who operated during that time, we fully expect our figures to continue moving down during 2011 and beyond."

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