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Repossessions down 7% year-on-year

The number of properties taken into possession in the first half of 2011 was 7 per cent lower than in the first half of 2010, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

There were 18,100 repossessions in the first half of the year, compared to 19,500 over the same period last year.

The total number of mortgages in arrears was also broadly unchanged in the second quarter of the year.

The number of mortgages in arrears of between 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent of the outstanding balance edged up from 77,800 to 78,500. But those in arrears of more than 2.5 per cent of the balance declined from 166,700 to 164,500. Overall, the number of mortgages more than 1.5 per cent in arrears declined to 243,000 in the second quarter of this year, from 244,500 three months earlier.

The CML also confirmed it will not be amending its repossession and arrears forecasts for this year, based on the first half results.

The current forecast is for a repossession rate of 0.35 per cent this year, and 0.4 per cent in 2012, equating to 40,000 cases of repossession in 2011 as a whole, and 45,000 next year. On arrears, the forecast is 180,000 mortgages in arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the balance, representing 1.58 per cent of the total 11.3m stock of first-charge mortgages.

Meanwhile, buy-to-let loans increased 21 per cent in the second quarter. There were 32,000 buy-to-let loans, worth £3.5bn, taken out from April to June, the highest number and value since the last quarter of 2008.

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