Figures show lowest level of home repossessions since 1982

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The number of homes being repossessed fell to the lowest levels since 1982 last year, figures from banks and building societies show.

Some 7,700 repossessions took place in 2016, down nearly 25% on the 10,200 cases seen in 2015, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

The annual total was the lowest seen since 6,900 repossessions were recorded in 1982.

Repossessions have been generally declining since reaching a recent peak of 48,900 cases in 2009.

Ultra-low mortgage rates have been keeping borrowers' mortgage payments relatively affordable.

The CML also said the number of mortgages in arrears fell during the course of 2016.

At the end of last year, there were 94,100 mortgages with arrears of more than 2.5% of the outstanding balance, compared with 101,700 at the end of 2015.

But despite the general decline in arrears, there was an increase across 2016 in the number of mortgages in arrears of more than 10% of the outstanding balance, from 23,700 to 26,000.