Home repossessions fall in second quarter of 2013

The number of homes repossessed in the second quarter of this year fell by nearly four percent on the first three months of the year, according to latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).  Some 7,700 properties were repossessed in April, May and June, bringing the total back to the same as for the last three months of 2012.

At the end of June almost one and a half per cent of all mortgages – 157,700 loans - were in arrears of 2.5% or more of the balance. 

Annual repossession rates have fallen steadily since their peak in 2009.  Figures for the first half of this year are the lowest since the second half of 2007 – although the figure for this quarter is only slightly lower than the total for the whole of 2004, when repossessions stood at 8,000.  The CML predicts that repossessions will total around 35,000 by the end of 2013.

The steady decline in repossessions from the 2009 peak is credited principally to low interest rates, with the bank rate being held at 0.5% by the Bank of England for the past four years.

There is also considerable pressure on mortgage lenders not to repossess except in the most extreme cases.   

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