Repossessions jumped by 12% in the third quarter of the year as increasing numbers of homeowners struggled to make their mortgage repayments, figures showed today.

A total of 11,300 homes were repossessed between July and September, compared with 10,100 in the second quarter of the year, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

This is the first time the CML has published quarterly statistics so no year-on-year comparison is available. However, it is clear that repossessions are rising as higher living costs and growing unemployment hit consumers.

Last year, 26,2000 properties were taken into possession by lenders - so far this year the figure stands at 30,200.

The CML said 168,000 mortgage borrowers were now at least three months in arrears on repayments - 8% higher than at the end of June when 156,000 people had fallen that far behind on their loans.

It said by the end of the year it expected the number of households at least three months in arrears to exceed its previous forecast of 170,000.

However, the CML has not readjusted its forecast for repossessions and is predicting a total of 45,000 this year - a 50% increase on last year's figure.

The Guardian