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Repossessions rising relentlessly as the ride gets rough

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Repossessions by mortgage lenders as borrowers struggle to make the repayments on their UK investment in property rose sharply by 9% in the second half of 2006.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported that 8,860 homes were taken back in the period, up from 8,140 in the first half of the year. This means that more properties – 17,000 – were repossessed last year than in any year since 2000.

Although these figures represent a tripling of repossessions in the past two years, they are only 0.15% of all outstanding mortgages on people’s favourite UK investment – property.

CML director general Michael Coogan said: “Repossessions are likely to creep from around 17,000 this year to 19,000 this year and 20,000 next year – higher than the low of 6,030 in 2004, but still only a quarter of the 1991 peak of 75,540.

“This reflects a slight worsening in prospects as a result of higher interest rate expectations since the previous forecast.”

David Stubbs, senior economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said: “The RICS expects repossessions to rise further as the impact of the recent increases in interest rates takes its toll and homeowners struggle to repay their mortgages.”


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