According to figures released by the FSA today, gross lending in Q4 last year fell 26 per cent to £45bn, compared to £60.6bn in Q3.
New repossessions for 2008 skyrocketed 68 per cent from 27,900 in 2007 to 46,750 in 2008. Repossessions in Q4 2008 were 60 per cent higher than a year earlier at 13,028, but actually fell from 13,464 in Q3.
The FSA says the total value of outstanding loans is £1,200bn, an increase of 3.5 per cent compared to 2007, but quarterly growth continues to slow, with a Q4 2008 increase of just 0.25 per cent.
Q3 2008 saw a sharp increase in arrears cases of 10 per cent to 60,000 cases, while Q4 shows an increase of 13 per cent to 68,000 cases. Previously the number of new arrears cases had remained constant at around 54,000 each quarter since early 2007.
Building Societies Association head of mortgage policy Paul Broadhead says borrowers with building society mortgages can be confident that their lender will help them if they have repayment difficulties.
He says: “Every repossession represents an individual tragedy, but borrowers with building society mortgages can be confident that their lender will, if they contact their lender as soon as possible, develop an individual plan to help them get back on their feet.
“This may include rescheduling their mortgage, help with claiming Government benefits and working with other agencies that may be able to help them.”