Nearly 10,000 properties in the UK have been repossessed during the first 3 months of 2012. New figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that 9,900 properties were repossessed during the first quarter, which is a slight increase on the previous quarter but is about the same as the corresponding quarter last year.
The 10% increase of this quarter from the previous quarter is deemed as normal seasonal variation by the CML. It has described the situation as stable and that it hopes to be able to review down its previous prediction for the year of 45,000 repossessions. However the CML warned that “Continuing pressures on household finances, changes to welfare benefits and an upward drift in mortgage rates all have the potential to disrupt the current stable picture.”
The report by the CML also shows the number of people in arrears with their mortgages has fell slightly from 160,300 in the previous quarter to 157,800.
Chief executive of SPF Private Clients, Mark Harris said that it is important that complacency doesn’t creep in. He said: “Lenders must continue to show forbearance and look after customers who are struggling by letting them switch to interest-only, take payment holidays or extend their mortgage terms.” “Likewise, borrowers must seek help, even before they miss a payment if possible, speaking to their lender or one of the specialist – and free – debt agencies such as Citizens Advice Bureau.”