CML sees fewer repossessions and arrears

FEWER Britons saw their homes repossessed in the first quarter of 2010 and the number of mortgages in arrears also dropped, data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed yesterday. But it warned that there was no room for complacency in what remains a highly vulnerable housing market.

The number of repossessions was 9,800, down from 10,600 in the previous quarter and 13,200 in the first quarter of 2009. The total proportion of loans with arrears equivalent to 2.5 per cent or more of the mortgage balance was 2.38 per cent, down from 2.81 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.

The CML noted that there was only a modest fall in the number of households with substantial arrears. This suggests that, while low interest rates and relatively stable employment have been helping to prevent new households falling into difficulty, but that many households with more entrenched problems are still struggling to restore their financial position and repay arrears.

As a result, the CML is cautious about revising its forecasts for the number of arrears and possessions cases in 2010, although it expects to do so later in the summer.