MORTGAGE repossessions soared to 17,000 in 2006 and are likely to continue rising for the next two years, according to mortgage analysts.
Figures released yesterday by the Council of Mortgage Lenders show the total was 65 per cent higher than in 2005, working out at roughly one in every 690 homeowners and more than any year since 2000.
Around 19,000 repossessions are expected this year, rising to 20,000 in 2008 as interests rate rises feed through.
Michael Coogan, the CML’s director general, said repossessions were higher than the low of 6,030 in 2004, but still only around a quarter of the 1991 peak of 75,540.
“This reflects a slight worsening in prospects since the previous forecast,” he said.
Although the figures have nearly tripled in two years, they represent just 0.15 per cent of all current home loans.
Responding to the latest CML figures, Nick Fletcher, policy and public affairs officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland, said: “Rising house prices are without doubt a contributing factor, with people often stretching themselves financially to afford a home.
“This has led to people borrowing four times or more their income. Many of these people will be vulnerable to fluctuations in interest rates or in their economic circumstances.
“A small change can suddenly make their mortgage repayments unaffordable and lead to them being in arrears with the prospect or repossession around the corner.”