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Repossessions push housing activity up 10%, says AMG

Sales of repossessed properties have increased significantly compared with this time last year, asset management firm The Asset Management Group claims.

AMG witnessed a 10% increase in houses ‘under offer’ in the first two months of the year. This jump returns activity levels to those last seen in 2005.

Simon Matthews, managing director at AMG, says:”I think that this is a positive sign for the market and will help with the underlying confidence that there is still life in the housing market.

“This year the CML predict some 75,000 repossessions in is certainly a cause for concern but at least there is activity and the stock is moving which is fundamental to a recovering market. I believe another reason for the increase in activity is that there is not a huge amount of general housing stock coming onto the market and so proportionally, repossessed homes are a higher percentage of those properties available.”

He adds: “Additionally, this growth may be due in part to the fact that repossessed properties are often purchased for investment purposes as a buy to let. With savings rates returning such a low yield and a relatively strong rental market this is becoming more attractive alternative for investors.

“For those borrowers for whom the property is being sold, although the sold price is still short of initial valuations at least properties are being sold and not merely left dormant and increasingly dilapidated for protracted periods of time.”


AFB calls for FSA regulation of second charge lending

The Association of Finance Brokers has called on the Treasury and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to pass responsibility for regulation of second and subsequent charge residential lending to the Financial Services Authority.

Shared ownership could be the new sub-prime

Some lenders are starting to classify shared ownership mortgages as sub-prime as borrowers begin to staircase down instead of up, the Communities and Local Government Committee has warned.


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