Published on WalesOnline.co.uk, by Tomos Livingstone, Aug 9, 2008.
BANKS and the Government urged homeowners not to panic yesterday as new figures revealed a sharp jump in the number of home repossessions in the first half of the year.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said there had been 18,900 repossessions in the UK in the first half of 2008, compared with 13,400 in the previous six months.
A total of 155,600 homeowners are in arrears of more than three months on their mortgages, up from 129,600 at the end of 2007.
The CML does not release regional statistics, and Government figures giving a localised breakdown had their publication date put back a week yesterday.
Ministers are desperate to avoid the wave of repossessions seen in the early 1990s, which contributed to the downfall of the Conservative administration. Options being considered in Downing Street include buying up empty private sector properties for social housing, although with the public finances tight there may not be funds for such a drastic intervention in the market …
… “It is crucial that Government buoys up the social housing market as a priority, both in increasing the funds that support housing associations and councils in buying unsold homes at a discounted rate, and by bringing the 830,000 empty homes in the UK back into use.” (full text).