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11/05/2012

Tackling Record Deficit Helps Keep Repossessions Down

The Government's commitment to tackling the record deficit is keeping interest rates at a record low and a secure roof over the heads of millions of hard-working homeowners, Housing Minister Grant Shapps said.

The Minister spoke as latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed the number of repossessions unchanged from the same quarter last year. Today's figures show there were 9,600 repossessions during the first three months of 2012 - unchanged from the same quarter of 2011.

Mr Shapps said the figures underlined how Government action was helping to head off the threat of far higher rates of home repossessions predicted by a leading academic three years ago.

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In his report Professor John Muellbauer of Nuffield College, Oxford warned that at the extreme, repossessions could hit levels last seen in the 1990s - and even in more likely scenarios could hit as many as 60,000 a year.

But the Minister also stressed that while today's figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders were below these earlier predictions, there was no room for complacency and that the Government is determined to do all it can to prevent the trauma of repossession for hard-pressed households.

Mr Shapps said: "No family that has worked hard to buy their own home should be left feeling like repossession is the only option - not when there is help and support on offer to ensure that it is only ever the last resort.

"Thanks to our work to tackle the deficit, we've managed to keep interest rates at record lows, keeping pressure off hardworking homeowners, and meaning we're nowhere near the levels predicted only three years ago.

"Even though figures today show that repossession levels are stable, now is not the time to rest on our laurels. Just as the Government is tackling the problem head on I would urge struggling homeowners to do the same - I would urge them to take action and take charge, get advice early and use the support on offer."

(CD/GK)

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Tackling Record Deficit Helps Keep Repossessions Down - The Government's commitment to tackling the record deficit is keeping interest rates at a record low and a secure roof over the heads of millions of hard-working homeowners, Housing Minister Gra