House repossessions soar to 12-year-high
Friday 08 August 2008
The number of UK house repossessions jumped by 48 per cent in the first half of the year to its highest level for 12 years, figures showed today.
A total of 18,900 homes were taken back by lenders after their owners failed to keep up with mortgage repayments - the equivalent of 0.16 per cent all mortgages, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said.
The CML forecasts that 45,000 homes will be repossessed by the end of the year as cash-strapped borrowers struggle to repay their mortgages.
The Financial Services Authority fired a warning shot to lenders earlier this week after finding that specialist mortgage firms were "too ready" to take court action against borrowers.
Today's half-year data compares with 120,800 homes repossessed at the end of June 2007 and 129,600 at the end of December.
The CML said the rate of repossession, at 0.16 per cent, was now the highest seen for 10 years.
But it stressed this was still low in the context of the entire mortgage market and less than half that experienced amid the housing market crash of the early 1990s.
Today's figures also reveal that the number of mortgages three months or more in arrears has risen by 29 per cent year on year to 155,600 at the end of the first half.
This is equivalent to 1.33 per cent of all home loans, although the number of mortgages more than six months in arrears was 0.58 per cent of all loans.
Housing charity Shelter said today's figures were "shocking", adding that hard-pressed homeowners are also now only given state help after nine months, too late to prevent many from losing their homes, it claimed.
Chief executive Adam Sampson said: "Behind these figures are thousands of families facing sleepless nights worrying about how to make their next mortgage payment, and many thousands more will be waking up to the frightening reality of repossession.
"Government urgently needs to step in to prevent thousands more families from losing their homes and provide the significant financial support troubled homeowners need to keep a roof over their head."
The CML recently set out plans to minimise the number of people who have their homes repossessed as the figures soar higher following the credit crunch.
It said members had committed to four measures to help borrowers, including reviewing its own policies and a pre-action protocol to ensure that repossession is a last resort.
However, the findings of a Financial Services Authority review earlier this week found that specialist mortgage lenders were too quick to take borrowers to court and were focusing their efforts too strongly on recovering arrears.
The FSA is also considering referring several firms to enforcement action after uncovering irresponsible lending practices among lenders, particularly those in the sub-prime market, such as failure to check borrower income.
Howard Archer, chief economist at Global Insight, said the CML figures showed borrowers were increasingly struggling, but added that the Bank of England was unlikely to be able to offer relief soon in the form of lower interest rates.
Yesterday the Bank voted to keep rates on hold for the fourth month in a row, at 5%, and are not expected to trim the cost of borrowing until at least towards the end of the year.
"Current elevated inflation levels and risks mean that the Bank of England is unlikely to provide any help to financially stretched individuals by cutting interest rates any time soon," said Mr Archer.
"Indeed, there is still a genuine possibility that the Bank of England could even raise interest rates, which would be an alarming prospect for a number of households."
Independent Partners: Get fee-free expert mortgage advice and find the right mortgage deal for you.
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £25K: SThree: SThree Group has been well estab...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...
£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...
Day In a Page
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
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000
A 17th century four-bedroom house, with open fireplaces, cellar and pool, £600,000
A three-bedroom, coach house with luxury open-plan living space and contemporary breakfast bar