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The north-south divide in home repossessions is the widest it has been for six years and four of the UK’s top five “repossession hotspots” are in north-west England a new study has found.

Chester, Blackpool, Oldham and Wigan are among the areas with the highest proportion of homeowners at serious risk of losing the roof over their head, according to the research, carried out by chartered surveyors e.surv.

But the analysis said it was “not as simple as purely north and south” and that two areas within Greater London – Romford and Croydon – also featured in the repossessions top 10, with Ilford and Enfield not far behind, despite all the publicity about rocketing house prices in and around the capital.

E.surv’s researchers analysed Ministry of Justice figures for court-ordered repossessions in the year to 30 June 2013, plus the company’s own data, and found there were 3.2 repossessions per 1,000 households in the north, compared with 2.4 per 1,000 in the south. A spokesman said this was the largest gap since the onset of the financial crisis.

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