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Repossessions up 17% in Q1

The number of new repossessions in Q1 2011 increased by 17%, the first rise in a year, according to the Financial Services Authority.

The regulator’s Mortgage Lending Data reveals there were 9,613 possessions during the first three months of the year.

It also shows that arrears totalling £34m on 12,916 accounts were capitalised in Q1.

The number of new arrears cases in Q1 was 35,600, 8% lower than the previous quarter, while the total number of accounts in arrears at the end of Q1 was 337,000, 2% down on the previous quarter and 7% down on Q1 2010;

Consequently, the proportion of the residential loan book that is in arrears fell to 2.88%.

Some 300 regulated mortgage lenders and administrators are required to submit a Mortgage Lending & Administration Return each quarter, providing data on their mortgage lending activities.

The MLAR covers both regulated and non-regulated residential lending to individuals.

The latest Council of Mortgage Lenders figures reported a 15% increase in repossessions in Q1 to 9,100, up from the 7,900 in Q4.

The FSA figures also show that new mortgage advances in Q1 totalled £33bn, 10% lower than in Q4 2010 but 3% higher than in Q1 2010, while lending for house purchase represented a reduced share of new lending, accounting for some 54% of new advances and 52% of new commitments.

Furthermore, the proportion of new lending that is at an LTV of over 90% fell below 2% for the first time since Q1 last year.

This proportion has averaged around 2% over the past year but fell back in Q1 to 1.7% from 2.2% in Q4. At the start of the series in 2007 it was over 14%.

New lending with a combination of high LTV and high income multiple also fell, to just below 1% of new lending. The proportion of new lending done at a high LTV and an income multiple of more than 3.5 x single or 2.75 x joint income has reduced in the last two quarters and is now back to below 1%, as it was at the start
of last year.

In addition, the proportion of loans to borrowers with an impaired credit history remained at 0.3%, the same level it has been at since Q3 2009.


P16 Richard Sexton

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