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Repossessions down

‘The Council of Mortgage Lenders has reported that the number of properties being repossessed fell from 37,300 in 2011 to 33,900 in 2012, the lowest annual figure since 2007.

Jonathan Harris, director of Anderson Harris, said that although the number of repossessions fell in the fourth quarter compared with the third, many households were still struggling financially.

“While the base rate is expected to stay at 0.5% for the foreseeable future, there are thousands of people who have already got into difficulty and are struggling to get out of it”, he comments.

The Finance & Leasing Association also recorded a drop in repossessions, with the second-charge mortgage repossessions down by 24.1% in 2012 compared with the year before.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv, said: “Falling repossessions levels are a bellwether of an improving economy. Lenders are growing in confidence, and feel they have the capacity to support a modest growth in arrears cases, which is music to the ears of borrowers in dire financial straits.

But in the long-term it’s an unsustainable strategy”. Mr Sexton believes that the imbalance between falling repossessions and increasing arrears has been growing since the financial crisis. “Since the end of 2008 repossessions have fallen 31% but the number of borrowers in serious arrears has increased 18%. That trend can’t last forever,” he explained.’

Source: The Daily Telegraph

Myfanwy Neville

Partner, Property and Construction

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