CML warns house repossessions will rise

| December 15, 2011
CML warns house repossessions will rise

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) expects the number of house repossessions to increase by 21.6 per cent from 37,000 this year to 45,000 in 2012 due to an increase in unemployment and falling household incomes.

The CML also expects housing transactions to fall next year, with 825,000 homes expected to be sold compared with an estimated 852,000 this year.

This would represent the lowest level of property sales since records began in 1978.

The CML has reduced its forecasts for gross mortgage lending to £138 billion for 2011, from a previous forecast of £140 billion.

It has also cut its forecast for 2012, from £150 billion to £133 billion due to increasing economic weakness.

Mortgage lending, especially to first-time buyers has fallen substantially since 2008, and with banks finding it increasingly difficult to raise funds, the CML warns that it may become even more difficult to secure a mortgage.

The government is hoping its planned mortgage indemnity scheme will help first-time buyers secure mortgages, but reservations have been expressed about how effective it will be.

Bob Pannell, chief economist at the CML, said: “Despite the fact that activity levels have already been subdued for several years, we have pencilled in a broadly flat picture, for both mortgage lending and property transactions, at least until real incomes show signs of stabilising as inflationary pressures recede.”

The latest figures from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) show a 5.8 per cent increase in the number of homes repossessed by lenders, from 9,134 in the second quarter to 9,670 in the third quarter of this year.

However mortgage arrears cases fell by 2 per cent to 34,900 in the third quarter, representing a year-on-year decline of 9 per cent, according to the FSA.

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