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London bucks the trend for repossessions

London was the only UK city to see a fall in the number of mort-gage possession orders made in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Ministry of Justice figures show that 3,140 possession orders were made on London homes in Q4, down by 14 per cent from the previous year.

The Midlands saw a 16 per cent rise to 4,893 while Wales leapt by 22 per cent to 1,777 in the same period.

The MoJ figures show how many possession orders have been made by the county courts.

The North-east saw a 6 per cent increase to 3,741 while the South-east rose by 6 per cent to 4,440.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed recently that repossessions in 2007 were the highest since 1999 although the figures were 10 per cent lower than it expected. A total of 27,100 homes were repossessed compared with 22,400 in 2006.

The MoJ statistics show that 25,008 possession orders were made on a seasonally adjus-ted basis in Q4 2007, whichwas 6 per cent higher than in Q4 2006 and Q3 2007.

The MoJ’s mortgage data includes all types of lenders, local authority and private. It stresses that its mortgage possession figures do not indicate how many houses have actu-ally been repossessed as not all orders result in properties being repossessed. The figures reveal the large amount of negotiation and comprom-ises that are made to prevent eviction. MoJ statistics show that more than 95,000 mortgage possession orders were made over the whole yearwhile only 27,100 repossessions were actually made.

London and Country head of communications David Hollingworth says: “It is surprising that London has fallen, looking at the market there. You would have assumed it might have led to more people stretching themselves.”

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