The government’s latest mortgage and landlord possession statistics are nothing if not salutary.

The reason for this is simple: they shed insight into what’s unravelled since the coronavirus restrictions on property receivership were officially lifted – while also hinting at what might rest in store.

Before discussing the latest findings in detail, let’s place them in context.

In March 2020, governments in England, Scotland and Wales introduced a total eviction ban to prevent people having to leave their homes during the pandemic.

As the vaccination rollout gained pace, those restrictions have been reduced, with other protections such as the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions being lifted after several delays in England on June 1, 2021.

On October 1, 2021, notice periods for evictions in England finally returned to pre-pandemic levels.

In short, this meant that those giving notice of their intention to evict via either a Section 21 or Section 8 notice required two months’ notice, down from six months.

The latest statistics for January to March 2022 show that the recovery of the civil courts continues after these restrictions were lifted.

But there remains a long way to go before things are even remotely back to ‘normal’…

In the first quarter of 2022, a total 19,033 landlord possession claims were submitted, representing a decrease of 37% on the same pre-pandemic period in 2019.

Nonetheless, this figure is still up on the last three months of 2021 – immediately following the lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions – when 14,433 landlord possession claims were submitted.

Between January and March 2022, there were a total of 12,975 orders for possession, 6,817 warrants and 3,763 repossessions by county court bailiffs representing decreases of 45%, 57% and 55% respectively on the same period in 2019.

A further drill down reveals private landlord possession claims are now back to pre-Covid-19 levels and make up a third of all claims, which is higher than it was pre-pandemic.

This pattern is also replicated for mortgage possession actions.

The first three months of 2022 have seen 2,890 mortgage possession claims, 2,293 orders, 2,162 warrants and 571 repossessions by county court bailiffs.

These figures represent decreases of 53%, 47%, 55% and 57% respectively on the same period in 2019, prior to the pandemic commencing.

Starkly, the average time from claim to mortgage repossession has increased to 110.6 weeks, up from 39.4 weeks in the same period in 2019.

As the authors of the report rightly observe: “Although progress is being made, the pandemic continues to have a significant negative affect over all these statistics.”

The demand among lenders to recover properties where borrowers are in default is clearly increasing – and this will only accelerate in the coming months.

At this point, lenders owe it to themselves to work with the most proactive property receivers, particularly as the anticipated backlog of possession claims is predicted to lengthen.

The average time from claim to mortgage repossession for CG&Co’s clients has consistently been far less than the national average throughout the pandemic.

We remain committed to the earliest engagement and negotiation with borrowers conducted in the most effective way possible.

What’s more, we have longstanding relationships with a host of outstanding solicitors – and this is proving invaluable as demand for their services constantly increases.

With rising interest rates and inflation increasingly impacting people’s incomes, there’s likely to be an increased number of repossessions.

In the coming months, we intend to continue ensuring that our clients are always in the best possible position to use their own funds to relend at rates that are most advantageous to them.

CG&Co has consistently achieved this since the pandemic began – and we’re dedicated to achieving this in the future regardless of how tough the situation gets.