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CML predicts a “bulge” in repossessions

The Council of Mortgage Lenders predicts a “bulge” in repossessions in the coming years, increasing from 46,000 to 53,000 this year, according to their fortnightly newsletter.

The report says patterns in the early 1990s suggest the market will endure a slow recovery from the peak of mortgage payment problems.

However, CML figures released last week showed better than expected repossession figures for 2009 which, although 15 per cent higher than 2008, were much lower than the 75,000 the CML forecast at the beginning of the year.

The trade body says long-term low interest rates have helped check the number of repossessions and mortgage arrears in 2009.

The report says: “The number of households with lower levels of payment difficulty has actually fallen recently, while the number with more serious arrears problems has remained broadly unchanged.

“This suggests that the rapid decline in interest rates – the persistence of the Bank of England’s base rate at its record low level of 0.5 per cent for almost a year now – is helping some borrowers with modest difficulties to get back on their feet.”

The report continues by saying that lenders’ forbearance in arrears cases and Government assistance schemes have also helped keep possession figures lower than expected.

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