View more on these topics

Repossessions still at very low levels, says RICS

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says the number of repossessions are still at low levels following figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The CML figures revealed that the number of properties taken into possession in the first half of this year was 76% higher than the same period last year.

David Stubbs, RICS economist, says: While the number of properties taken into possession was the highest since the first half of 2001, it is still very low level compared with the number being possessed during the early nineties, the highest being 38,930 in the second half of 1991.

Indeed, the number of properties possessed as a percentage of outstanding mortgages, at 0.07%, is very minor compared with the 0.4% in the second half of 1991.

Although the number of possessions has risen 171% since the second half of 2004, the rate of increase may slow in the coming six months.

More figures from the CML show that the percentage of mortgages that are in arrears has stabilised at just under 1%.

This ends three consecutive quarters of increases which led to a cumulative increase of 26% between 2004 H1 and 2005 H2.

Further signs that the pressure in the possession pipeline is levelling off comes from another set of figures released today by the Department and Constitutional Affairs.

These showed that showed that the number of households in England and Wales in the early stages of the repossession process fell slightly in second quarter of 2006, which is the first fall in two years.

Actions entered by lenders, the first stage of repossession, fell 0.8% from the level in the first quarter to 33,180 but are still up 17% from the same period last year.

While there is not a direct relationship between the numbers entering these early stages of repossession and the actual numbers of houses possessed in future periods, it is none-the-less encouraging that the numbers of people entering these early stages have now stabilised.

That these numbers have stooped rising is testament to the recovery in the economy, the strong growth in jobs and last August’s interest rate cut.

Yesterday’s interest rate rise is a timely reminder that household finances could come under renewed pressure.

Despite the recent popularity of fixed rate mortgages, the majority of the stock of outstanding mortgages in the UK are variable rate mortgages and therefore leave their owners vulnerable to higher interest payments.

If, as the RICS believes, this is not an isolated rise in interest rates, it is certain that the number of households unable to meet their mortgage payments will continue to trend higher.

“However, solid economic performance will prevent a return to the levels seen in the early nineties.


Prestbury turnover increases by 45%

Prestbury Holdings PLC, has revealed its results for the six-month period to 30 April 2006, showing a 45% increase in turnover to 4.8mThey also show a small profit generated in Feb, March and April 2006, with minimal operating profit for the six months to April 2006 attained at 35,000.Overheads have been reduced by 33% since […]

Research shows brokers support HIPS U-turn

Brokers are concerned over the timing and content of the HIPs launch next year, research by UCB ome Loans shows.The results reveal a strong lack of support for the scheme in its proposed format, providing increased backing for the governments decision to back down on including home condition reports within the new HIPs packs.The research […]

Private rented sector flourishing, says Paragon

Landlords are continuing to increase their involvement in the private rented sector on the back of steadily rising demand for rented accommodation, says Paragon Mortgages.The July edition of Paragon’s Buy-to-Let Index shows that average rents achieved on residential investment properties have risen significantly over the last three months, by 351 or 3.48%. The typical gross […]


London & European has appointed Vik Panchal as sales manager and head of legal indemnities subsidiary

China: growth defence or another debt-fuelled boom?

By Douglas Turnbull, Head of Chinese Equities at Neptune Following recent stimulus efforts from Beijing, Neptune’s Douglas Turnbull examines how the government’s long-term reform agenda can be balanced with supporting growth and addressing structural challenges, and the investment opportunities arising from this.Click here to read more Important information: Investment Risks Neptune funds may have a […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up