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UK repossessions on the increase

A report by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has today confirmed the dire situation for the UK property market. A total of 13,161 homes were repossessed in the third quarter of 2008 which represents a 92% increase on the corresponding period in 2007. There are serious concerns that the overall trend in repossessions is set to move sharply higher as the property market comes under more and more pressure.

While the initial repossession figures are alarming in themselves, the FSA also confirmed that 340,000 mortgage holders in the UK have missed at least one mortgage payment over the last few months. This represents an increase of 24% over the same period in 2007 and a 10% rise on the previous quarter in 2008. This figure of 340,000 mortgage holders in arrears is set to increase during 2009 and more are expected to be converted into repossessions over the next 12 months.

While some in the financial markets had hoped that 2009 would see a recovery, or stabilisation at worst, in the property market these hopes appear to be forlorn. Despite the government introducing a number of safety nets for those struggling with their mortgages the banking sector appears unwilling to give mortgage holders any more leeway with Northern Rock amongst the worst in the sector for repossession numbers.

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