Nearly 10,000 homes repossessed in first three months of 2012

 

A total of 9,600 homes were repossessed in the first three months of 2012, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said today.

This was identical to the same period of 2011, but up ten per cent on the previous quarter. The CML described the situation as “stable”, and suggested it might lower its forecast for the year as a whole in the summer.

It had predicted that repossessions would reach 45,000 in 2012.

But housing charities warned that rising mortgage rates could see repossessions rise. More than a million homeowners saw their mortgage rates rise earlier this month following a string of increases announced by lenders, blaming the weak economy and the increased cost of funding a mortgage.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “With many lenders raising interest rates, hundreds of thousands of struggling homeowners will be worrying how they will cope with an increase in mortgage costs.”

He added: “Sadly, recent changes to Support for Mortgage Interest mean that families who face repossession will find there is less support available for them.

“We're really concerned that government policy to cut the safety net for homeowners at a time of increasing unemployment will inevitably lead to more households facing the devastation of losing their home.”

The CML report also highlighted a “modest improvement” in mortgage arrears. The number of mortgages with arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the outstanding balance fell to 157,800, down from 160,300 at the end of December and 170,500 a year ago.

Despite the general improvement in the arrears figures, there are 28,000 loans with arrears of 10 per cent or more, the highest number since June 2000 and 300 higher than a year ago.

Meanwhile, new research from the TUC union showed that the cost of living has been rising more quickly for the poorest households as a result of higher energy and food bills.

The TUC said CPI inflation for the poorest tenth of households in February was 4.1 per cent, compared to 3.3 per cent for the richest 10 per cent.

Poorer families have been hit by higher inflation over the past year because they spend a larger proportion of their income on food and utilities, said the union group.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “People have been getting poorer every month for the last two years as high inflation, tax rises and the dire state of the economy take their toll on family budgets.

“Over the last year the poorest households have suffered more than anyone else from rising food prices and soaring gas and electricity bills. The Chancellor's obsession with raising VAT, along with swingeing cuts to tax credits, has made life even tougher for those on low to medium incomes.

“Consumer spending plays a crucial role in driving our economy so it's in all our interests for people to start getting decent pay rises. But the government policy of confidence shattering austerity is having the opposite effect.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Purchasers

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...

Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Broker / Purchaser

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Call Centre Manager - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative online car purc...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate