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CML: Repossessions up 65%

02 February 2007
Mortgage repossessions were 65 per cent higher in the second half of 2006 than over the same period in 2005, taking the total number of repossessions to one in every 690 mortgaged homes, according to new figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Londoners were hardest hit, as the capital experienced the highest rate of increase in the proportion of court actions seeking possession relative to mortgaged properties.

Other southern regions also saw above-average repossession orders relative to mortgage numbers.

These figures are "cause for concern" to Citizens Advice national debt policy officer Peter Tutton, whose bureaux see many customers with "mortgages that stretch them to the absolute limit".

"Housing debt, including arrears on mortgages and secured loans, is one of the fastest growing problems in our debt caseload," he warned.

Over 2005-06, 10,000 of the 127,000 housing debt problems brought to Citizens Advice Bureaux in the UK focused on actual or threatened repossessions.

Looking ahead to 2007, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors senior economist, David Stubbs, has predicted that repossession rates will rise still further, reaching 19,000 overall, thanks to recent interest rates increases – 2,000 more than in 2006.

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