CML’s repossession forecast dubbed “too conservative”

A property recovery specialist has warned that the Council of Mortgage Lenders has underestimated the levels of repossessions to come this year.

Nick Hopkinson, director of Property Portfolio Rescue, argues that repossessions could double from last year’s 40,000 figure to 82,000 by the end of 2009.

He says: “With no end to the recession in sight and unemployment set to hit three million by the end of the year, there is no doubt that we are going to see another sharp rise in repossessions in 2009.

“As a result, I believe the CML’s sustained forecast of 75,000 repossessions for 2009 is too conservative.”

Hopkinson claims there is a risk that lenders working to find an alternative to taking possession could be “delaying the inevitable” for those home owners in serious arrears.

He adds: “Property prices are expected to fall a further 10 to 15% this year and those that hold onto their home in hope of finding an alternative solution may find themselves even worse off a few months down the line.

“For some the best solution will be to sell their homes now, albeit at a reduced market value, before equity diminishes further and mortgage debt, which will need to be paid back at some point, continues to pile up.”