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Mortgage arrears and repossessions in the EU have stabilised: EMF publishes a new Study on Non-Performing Loans


14 Dec 2011


Euro & Finance

The European Mortgage Federation’s updated Study shows clear signs of stabilisation in Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) after the short-term rises observed from Q3 2008 to Q3 2009. With the sole exception of Hungary, loans over three months in arrears do not account for more than 3% of total outstanding mortgage loans in Member States at end-2010. 

The rise in NPLs (arrears, doubtful loans and repossessions) observed in some EU markets since the onset of the crisis in Q3 2008 has slowed down in most Member States. Looking at the causes of this mitigated NPL environment, Alessandro Sciamarelli, Head of Statistics, explains how:

“A moderate but continued economic recovery, boosted by a very low interest rate environment in response to accommodative monetary policies, contributed to the stabilising of housing and mortgage cycles which we now see. In addition, forbearance programmes agreed by government and banks helped to ensure that foreclosure remains ‘the very last resort’, as the process involves high costs not only for the lender but also the borrower.” 

The Study also highlights that in a long-term context, levels of NPLs after end-2009 were still significantly lower than those which were recorded in most EU countries during the previous housing recession (early 1990s).

A different macroeconomic scenario characterised the previous recession: higher mortgage interest rates (in accordance with a much more restrictive interest rate environment across the EU at the time), higher unemployment rates, and no monetary policy reaction since Central Banks could not lower their policy interest rates at a time of high inflation.

For further information, see the Study attached or download your free copy from

Contact Persons:

Alessandro Sciamarelli - Head of Statistics                  

Tel: +32 2 285 40 42                                                            

Peter Talks - Head of Economic Affairs                                    

Tel: +32 2 285 40 46


For further information on the activities of the European Mortgage Federation please contact:

Tel. +32 2 285 40 30 - Fax +32 2 285 40 31

E-Mail: - Website:


Notes to the Editor:

Established in 1967, the European Mortgage Federation (EMF) is an international non-profit institution under Belgian Law (AISBL) representing the interests of mortgage lenders and covered bond issuers at European level. The EMF represents a growth industry worth EUR 6.4 trillion as at the end of 2010, which is approximately 52.4% of the EU’s GDP.

In 2004, the Federation established the European Covered Bond Council (ECBC), which represents covered bond stakeholders from Europe and around the world.

The Secretariat, a team of 13 people based in Brussels, co-ordinates the activities of the Federation and maintains contact with the European institutions.


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