UK repossessions at lowest level since 2006

Thursday 14 August 2014 14.49
5,400 properties in the UK were taken into possession in the second quarter of this year
5,400 properties in the UK were taken into possession in the second quarter of this year

The number of households in the UK having their homes repossessed fell to its lowest level since 2006 in the first half of this year, mortgage lenders have reported. 

New figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that 5,400 properties were taken into possession in the second quarter of this year.

This marked the lowest number since quarterly records began at the start of 2008. 

When this is added to the 6,400 repossessions which took place in the first three months of 2014, the half-year total of 11,800 is the lowest six-monthly tally recorded since the second half of 2006, the CML said. 

Record low interest rates have been credited with helping to keep people's repayments affordable.

The CML said that while the latest low repossession figures are "clearly welcome", borrowers should be planning now for how they will cope with rates increasing as the economy improves. 

The number of households in the UK having their homes repossessed fell to its lowest level since 2006 in the first half of this year, mortgage lenders have reported. 

New figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that 5,400 properties were taken into possession in the second quarter of this year, marking the lowest number since quarterly records began at the start of 2008. 

When this is added to the 6,400 repossessions which took place in the first three months of 2014, the half-year total of 11,800 is the lowest six-monthly tally recorded since the second half of 2006, the CML said. 

Record low interest rates have been credited with helping to keep people's repayments affordable, and the CML said that while the latest low repossession figures are "clearly welcome", borrowers should be planning now for how they will cope with rates increasing as the economy improves. 

CML director general Paul Smee said the figures underline how borrowers, lenders and money advisers are working well together to contain payment problems. 

"But rates will rise at some stage, of course, and borrowers should be planning for that now. We welcome the message from the Bank of England that, when it raises rates, it plans to do so in a series of  'baby steps', matched to a careful assessment of the ability of households to deal with higher borrowing costs," he said. 

He also advised that any borrower anticipating payment problems should talk to their lender as soon as possible.

Last month, the CML scaled back its forecasts for repossessions over the next couple of years.

It said in July that the prospect of interest rate rises "feels more imminent than six months ago", however "given a favourable jobs market, it seems reasonable to think that the majority of households will cope well with initial gentle rate rises".

The CML predicts about 25,000 repossessions will take place in the UK this year, which would mark a fall from 28,900 last year and is also down from its previous forecast at the end of last year of 28,000 repossessions in 2014.

It also forecasts repossession numbers to edge up slightly to 28,000 cases next year.