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 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
Day In a Page
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
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
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