Mortgage arrears and repossession down

| May 13, 2010

Mortgage arrears and repossessions both fell in the first quarter of 2010, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

However, the body warns against complacency, “as a large number of households, who are just coping, still remain vulnerable to shocks that may arise from the economic uncertainty ahead”.

During the first three months of the year, total repossessions stood at 9,800, down from 10,600 in the previous quarter and 13,200 in the same period of 2009.

The proportion of mortgages in arrears declined to 186,300, down from 196,400 in the final quarter of 2009 and 206,800 a year earlier.

The CML describes this reduction as “very modest” and suggests that low interest rates and relatively stable employment have masked the “entrenched problems” of those struggling to restore their financial position.

Looking to the future, the Council says it is cautious about downwardly revising its 2010 repossessions forecasts of 53,000 and emphasises the need for an ongoing commitment from government to support home-owners facing financial difficulty.

CML director general, Michael Coogan, comments: “With all eyes on the new government and what steps it will take to address the fiscal deficit, we cannot emphasise too strongly the importance of continuing to fund the support mechanisms that are proving effective in containing mortgage arrears and repossessions.”

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