Repossessions fall to two-year low

The number of repossessions fell to a two-year low during the first quarter of 2010 but many people are still at risk of losing their home, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said today.

Around 9,800 people had their property repossessed during the three months to the end of March, 8% less than during the previous quarter and 26% down on the same period of 2009.



There was also a fall in homeowners who were behind with repayments, with the number of people in arrears of at least 2.5% of their outstanding mortgage dropping to 186,300, 10% less than a year earlier.



The CML said it now expected to revise down its forecast that 53,000 people would lose their homes this year.



It said the prediction looked "pessimistic" if the current level of government support continued, interest rates did not rise and there were no new economic shocks.



But it warned that the decline in repossessions should not cause complacency as there were a large number of households who were only just coping and who remained vulnerable.



The group has joined forces with housing charity Shelter and Citizens Advice to write to the new Chancellor, George Osborne, urging him to extend the current support available to households in the greatest financial difficulty in his first Budget.



Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "Current support schemes in place are set to wind up at the end of the year but could be pulled at any time, which will leave many people with no safety net and facing the real possibility of repossession.



"If the funding for these schemes is not urgently reconfirmed, the new Government are likely to see a huge number of people losing their home by the end of the year."



The Government said today that it planned to take a "fresh look" at the schemes to ensure they offered "the best deal for homeowners, as well as value for money for the taxpayer".



It also revealed that at total of 629 families had so far completed the Mortgage Rescue Scheme, under which vulnerable households who are facing repossession can sell some or all of their home to a social landlord and rent it back.



A further 1,849 people are currently going through the scheme and have had the immediate threat of repossession lifted, although the number is still well short of the 5,000 people it was originally intended to help.



The Ministry of Justice also released figures today which showed a fall in the number of repossession orders made by courts in England and Wales.



A total of 18,504 repossession claims were issued during the first quarter, on a seasonally adjusted basis, 8% less than during the previous three months and 24% down on the same period of 2009.



These led to 14,373 repossession orders being made, 15% less than a year earlier, of which 46% were suspended.



The ongoing fall is likely to be driven in part by the introduction of the pre-action protocol in November 2008, under which courts can grant a repossession order only if all other measures to keep someone in their home have failed.



Ed Stansfield, chief property economist at Capital Economics, said: "The modest improvement in the labour market seen in the final months of last year appears to have helped reduce further the number of mortgage possessions and cases of mortgage arrears."



But Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "A significant number of homeowners are still at risk despite the fact that the economy is now growing again.



"There will also be a lagged impact from the recession as likely only slow recovery will mean that many people who have lost their jobs will be unemployed for a long time and this will weigh heavily on their finances."

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

    Reach Volunteering: Trustees with Finance, Fundraising and IT skills

    Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
    Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

    That's a bit rich

    The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
    Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
    Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

    Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

    Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
    A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

    Britain's Atlantis

    Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

    David Starkey's assessment
    Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

    'An enormous privilege and adventure'

    Oliver Sacks writing about his life
    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
    Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

    Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

    Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago