Repossessions rise as squeeze hits households

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The Independent Online

Repossessions of homes by mortgage-lenders jumped 15 per cent in the first quarter, even before an interest rate rise that is now expected by the end of the year.

The 7,900 homes repossessed in the first three months of 2011 ended five straight quarter-on-quarter declines, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said. The toll is up sharply from the final quarter of 2010 but is 10 per cent down on a year earlier, the CML added.

The figures tallied with Government numbers showing a rise in court possession orders and reinforced a picture of public sector cuts and squeezed household finances increasingly forcing people out of their homes. Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "The rise in repossessions highlights that a significant number of homeowners are at risk."