CML Report: Home Repossessions Stabilise
UK home repossessions remained stable over the first three months of the year, suggesting financial pressure on households could be easing.
There were 9,600 repossessions in the first quarter of 2012, the same number as a year ago, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
It said the stabilisation has broken a recent trend of year-on-year increases.
While the latest figure is a 10% rise on the fourth quarter of 2011, the CML attributed this to a "normal seasonal pattern".
The body said that its previous prediction that repossessions would rise to 45,000 this year could be revised down later this summer when it publishes its housing market forecasts.
But it cautioned: "Continuing pressures on household finances, changes to welfare benefits and an upward drift in mortgage rates all have the potential to disrupt the current stable picture."
The CML's latest report also highlighted a "modest improvement" in arrears.
The number of mortgages with arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance fell to 157,800, down from 160,300 at the end of December and 170,500 a year ago.
CML director general Paul Smee said that a combination of low interest rates and stable employment had helped people to avoid falling behind with their mortgage repayments.
Mr Smee added: "Anyone worried about their mortgage should be assured that lenders will try to help them get back on track, as long as this is a realistic prospect."
But earlier this month, more than one million UK homeowners saw the cost of their mortgage payments jump as lenders, including two state-backed banks, raise borrowing costs.