UK home repossession up in 2006, expected to rise again in 2007
Home repossessions in the UK are expected to rise in both 2007 and 2008, a result of higher interest rates. This comes after repossessions rose by 65 percent in 2006 over their number in 2005. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, there were 17,000 repossessions in 2006, a smaller number than the 18,000 that had been anticipated in a December projection.
There were more repossessions in the second half of 2006 – 8,860 – than there were in the first half of the year, when 8,140 homes were repossessed. The Council believes that repossessions could rise to 19,000 this year and to 20,000 in 2008. Repossessions in the UK were at a low in 2004, at only 6,030, but the figure rose to 10,310 repossessions in 2005.
The new data spurred a call from Adam Sampson, the chief executive of Shelter, a homeless charity, for lenders to be more responsible for the loans they make. With the Bank of England raising interest rates three times since autumn, it has made it more difficult to pay their mortgages. Mr. Sampson said that rising interest rates, coupled with a shortage of housing in the UK, are causing more families to have to pay more than they can afford to become homeowners. This causes what he referred to as “thousands of hard working families” to face the possibility of becoming homeless.