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Repossessions fall, while arrears level out

Repossessions fall, while arrears level out

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 14/08/2009
First Published: 14/08/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Home repossessions in the UK fell between April and June, while the number of mortgages in arrears levelled out, statistics published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) have revealed.

In total, there were 11,400 homes repossessed in the second quarter of the year, equivalent to one mortgage in 1,000. It represents a ten per cent improvement on the 12,700 repossessions that took place between January and March, although it is an increase on the same period last year.

The body said that a combination of factors, including low interest rates, government initiatives to keep people in their homes and greater understanding from lenders, had helped contribute towards the contraction in numbers.

Lenders are showing patience with homeowners who are showing a willingness to try to resolve their payment problems, and where there is a realistic chance of doing so.

"With unemployment rising and the economy still weak, the outlook will remain challenging for the rest of the year and into 2010.

"But today's data shows that lenders are committed to helping borrowers manage their way through temporary payment problems and get their mortgage back on track over time, avoiding repossession where possible" said head of policy at the CML, Jackie Bennett.

The figures mean that 24,100 repossessions were made during the first six months of 2009, but the CML has warned that they could well rise in the second half of the year, and has chosen not to revise its whole year prediction of 65,000.

There was a small rise in the number of mortgage in arrears during the period, with the number of home loans in arrears of 2.5 per cent of the outstanding balance or more totalling 205,600, compared with 203,900 in the first quarter.

Home owners having difficulty have been advised to keep the lines of communication open by Ms Bennett, who said: "The key message continues to be to talk to your lender as soon as possible when difficulties emerge and take advice from an independent money adviser if you have other debts as well as your mortgage."

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