Home repossessions almost double
The number of people who lost their homes nearly doubled during the third quarter of last year, the City watchdog said today.
A total of 13,161 properties were repossessed during the three months to the end of September - 92 per cent more than during the same period of 2007, according to the Financial Services Authority.
The number of homeowners who were behind with their mortgage repayments also jumped to 340,000, a rise of 24 per cent during the year and 10 per cent higher than in the previous quarter.
The FSA said the number of people who have run up arrears of more than 1.5 per cent of their outstanding mortgage debt, roughly equivalent to being at least three months behind with repayments, has been slowly rising during the previous five quarters, increasing by around 4 per cent each quarter.
But it said the 10 per cent jump seen in the three months to the end of September was "more significant".
A further 30,000 people got into arrears during the third quarter, and 2.92 per cent of all mortgage holders are now behind with their repayments.
Among those who are in arrears, people are managing to pay an average of 42 per cent of their normal mortgage payment each month.
But despite the steep jump in repossession levels, the number of homes that were sold by lenders rose only slightly to 7,687, compared with 7,000 in the second quarter.
As a result, the number of repossessed homes that remained unsold jumped dramatically during the third quarter to 27,123 - 27 per cent more than during the previous three months and 111 per cent up on the same period of 2007.
The figures are in line with those reported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) in November for the same period.
These showed that 11,300 homes were repossessed by CML members during the third quarter of 2008 - 12 per cent more than in the second quarter - and the number of borrowers who were more than three months in arrears rose by 8 per cent to 168,000, although the CML measures arrears levels slightly differently to the FSA.
Other FSA figures on the mortgage market released today were also gloomy, with the total value of outstanding home loans edging ahead by just 0.5 per cent during the third quarter compared with the previous one to £1.194 trillion.
New advances during the period totalled £61 billion, half the peak of £102 billion reached during the third quarter of 2007, and 15 per cent lower than during the previous three months.
Net lending, which strips out redemptions and repayments, fell by 36 per cent during the three months and 65 per cent year-on-year to £14 billion.
Mortgage lenders continued to rein in business to people with impaired credit histories - so-called sub-prime borrowers - with new lending to this group accounting for just 1.5 per cent of total advances during the third quarter, compared with 3.5 per cent a year earlier.
They also continued to demand high deposits, with only 6.5 per cent of advances made to people borrowing 90 per cent or more of their home's value, compared with a peak of 15 per cent in early 2007.
The combination of people with high loan to value ratios and high income multiples also fell from 9 per cent of new lending for most of 2007, to just over 4 per cent in the three months to the end of September.
The FSA said that although 13,161 homes had been possessed by lenders, meaning that a court order had been granted enabling them to sell the property, in some cases they may not do this.
Adam Sampson, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said: "These new figures are not just numbers, they are heartbreaking tales of real people losing their homes, and the rescue schemes announced by the Government recently will help just a fraction of those in trouble.
"While the Government yet again bails out some of Britain's floundering banks with billions of pounds, it is still seemingly unable to provide adequate support for millions of hard working homeowners."
Liberal Democrat housing spokeswoman Sarah Teather said: "This has been a miserable winter for thousands of families who were forced out of their homes.
"The sad fact is that the growing number of people in mortgage arrears suggests this will only get worse."
She called for the "out-of-date mortgage laws" to be updated to allow the courts to intervene.
A Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "We have already rolled out a £200 million mortgage rescue scheme to help vulnerable families remain in their homes, expanded free debt and legal advice, and are working urgently with lenders on the recently announced new homeowner mortgage support scheme to help hard working households if they suffer a loss of income.
"These measures will expand the support available to those who need it most, and give many households the breathing space to get back on their feet again and help ensure they do not face or fear repossession."
Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps said: "Gordon Brown's famous boast that he'd ended boom and bust will provide no comfort for the 13,000 more families who were repossessed over the summer.
"Even more worrying, these figures are from before the banking collapse so they may be just the tip of the iceberg.
"The Government has shown incredible complacency and instead of allowing the Housing Minster to talk about signs of an upturn in the housing market, Gordon Brown needs to pull his finger out and help the thousands of vulnerable families across the country."
Independent Partners: Get fee-free expert mortgage advice and find the right mortgage deal for you.
Questions of Cash: What are my rights if my leak is caused by neighbours’ roofs?
Pension mortgages: 'The advice I was given was wrong and now I face losing my home'
You'll need £220,000 for a minimum wage in your retirement
Mark Dampier: Maybe boom, maybe bust, but we'll probably just muddle along
Your money: Let’s hope for a fairer, more honest 2015
- 1 The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 5 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens