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Repossessions fall to two-year low

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by Gill Montia

The number of homeowners who saw their properties repossessed by lenders fell to a two-year low in the first three months of 2010.

New data from the Financial Services Authority put the total the number of repossessions at 10,500, down 11% on the final quarter of 2009.

In addition, new mortgage arrears declined by 2%, taking the total number of homeloans in arrears to 3.23% of all UK residential mortgages held.

The figures could prompt the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) to downwardly revise its forecast of around 53,000 repossessions in 2010, although potential job losses from public sector cuts announced in yesterday’s emergency Budget would need to be factored in.

The CML says it is “unsurprised” by the content of the Budget, as it relates to the UK housing and mortgage markets.

The Council’s director general, Michael Coogan, comments: “In a world of imperfect choices, steps that help the economy to recover and help to maintain mortgage rates at affordable levels for most people are the measures that will underpin a healthy housing market in the long term.”

Adding: “But in the short term pain is likely, as the effect of tax rises on household finances dampens the already fragile recovery in house-buyers’ confidence, housebuilding is affected, and support for housing costs across all tenures is curtailed.”

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News posted: June 23, 2010

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