Latest mortgage lenders' figures



Mortgage lenders' figures published today will show whether low interest rates and good arrears management are continuing to keep home repossession numbers down.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) will release figures for the second quarter of this year, after the first three months of 2013 showed a slight upswing in repossessions, which is not unusual for the post-Christmas period.

A total of 8,000 properties were taken into possession in the first quarter of this year, which was down on the same period in 2012 but up on the 7,700 repossessions recorded in the final quarter of last year.

Around one fifth of these repossessions were of buy-to-let properties rather than owner-occupied ones.
The CML has said that it expects repossessions for the whole of this year to remain at around 35,000, putting them at levels similar to a five-year low recorded across 2012.

The number of home owners getting into severe trouble with their mortgages has stabilised at lower than anticipated levels since the economic downturn started.

The CML has said that low interest rates, lenders' forbearance, public policy support and continued employment have helped to ensure that repossession remains a "last resort".

Some mortgage holders have also seen the value of their home increase in recent months as confidence returns to the housing market. There have been signs that some strong house price increases seen in London and the South are now being felt to some extent across a wider area of the country.

There was some relief for those home owners who are struggling yesterday, when the Bank of England indicated that interest rates will remain at their historic lows for some years to come.

Mortgage rates have already plummeted since the launch of a Government scheme one year ago called Funding for Lending. Experts said yesterday that lower-for-longer interest rates could result in already ultra-low mortgage deals being made even more attractive.

© 2013 Press Association