Amount of repossessions is set to go up

FEWER homes will be repossessed this year than previously forecast, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said yesterday, but the body expects 2010 to see more repossessions. <br /><br />The CML lowered its forecast for the second time this year and now anticipates that 48,000 homes will be repossessed in 2009, just 8,000 more than in 2008. Last year, the CML thought that 75,000 homeowners could see their properties taken away.<br /><br />CML director general Michael Coogan said: &ldquo;We are glad to have been wrong on our previous forecast for mortgage repossessions this year. Low interest rates, and lenders&rsquo; forbearance policies, have helped to cushion many households facing financial problems.&rdquo;<br /><br />But the number of homes repossessed in the quarter to September rose slightly on the previous three months to 11,700. The CML also expects the number of repossessions to total around 53,000 in 2010. <br /><br />The CML is more upbeat about the outlook for next year. It now expects net lending to be positive this year at &pound;8bn before rising to &pound;15bn next year. It also anticipates a further pick-up ion activity in the housing market, with the number of transactions seen reaching 810,000 this year and 850,000 in 2010. <br /><br />But with rising unemployment, analysts said homeowners&rsquo; ability to keep up with mortgage payments will remain under pressure. <br />