Home repossessions down year-on-year

Houses on coins

The number of homes repossessed this year is 7% down from a year ago, according to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

A total of 9,000 homes were repossessed in the second quarter of the year, a fraction down on the 9,100 from the first quarter.

The number of mortgages in arrears also saw little change in the second quarter.

From today's data, the CML has said it won't be making any changes to its arrears and possessions forecast for the rest of the year. It still predicts there will be 40,000 homes repossessed for the whole of 2011 and 45,000 in 2012.

It also suggests there will be 180,000 mortgages in arrears of 2.5% of the balance or more this year.


Paul Smee, CML spokesperson, says today's report is positive as mortgage repayment problems have recovered against a current backdrop of stable employment and low interest rates.

"Despite current uncertainty in financial markets, we see no need to revise our forecasts. Anyone with debt worries should take advice and speak to their lender at the earliest opportunity, as most temporary financial problems can be resolved.
"It is clear from the low rate of repossession that lenders do want to keep people in their homes, and are successfully doing so in the vast majority of arrears cases. Repossession really is seen as a last resort," he says.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of the Citizens Advice Bureau, says with the cost of living going up daily and incomes lagging badly behind, mortgage lenders and the government must focus on helping people stay in their homes.

"Repossession is a terrifying prospect and should always be the last resort. Anyone struggling to meet their mortgage repayments has a greater chance of staying in their home if they seek advice and take action as soon as they are having problems," she adds.

Are you struggling to pay back your mortgage? Read the advice our experts gave to one Moneywise reader at risk of losing his home.