Home repossessions up 15%



Home repossessions were up by 15% in the first three months of 2011, as 9,100 homes were taken from their owners according to lenders.

The figures, compared with the last three months of 2010 were up, but year on year results show a 10% fall in repossessions, and according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) are in line with the quarterly average for 2010.

Encouragingly, the number of families who have fallen behind on their repayments has also fallen since December, suggesting that the country is starting to get to grips with their finances.

The CML did however warn that they felt households in the UK could feel stretched for quite some time, and predicted that over the year 40,000 would have their homes repossessed, up from the 36,300 from last year.

Arrears levels also fell during the first three months of 2011, with only 1.47% of all mortgages with arrears of over 2.5% of their total mortgage loan, a total of 166.900 mortgages in arrears across the country.

At the end of December 2010 this figure stood at 170,000 households in arrears, and even lower still than the 187,300 homes in arrears at the same time last year.

Director General of CML, Michael Coogan explained that lenders were giving households a chance to get back on track with mortgage payments, rather than taking homes away straight away.

He did warn that a squeeze on household income could make things more difficult for many families.

“Looking ahead, the financial position of many households is likely to be stretched for some while, and some will inevitably find themselves in difficulty,” Mr Coogan said.

“Lenders have a range of options to nurse borrowers through temporary problems.”

He also noted that the mortgage market regulator had warned lenders that being too generous with homeowners who get behind on their repayments could also cause further problems, as they will get used to it and it could breed a culture of complacency.

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