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Homeowners Selling Property 'To Avoid Rising Mortgage Costs'

Aug 18, 2007
Thousands of consumers are selling their property as they are unable to keep up with increasing mortgage costs, according to new figures.

Research carried out by Moore Blatch suggests that for every home which was repossessed last year at least an equal proportion were sold as owners struggled to make secured loan repayments. The company also pointed to figures released by the Department for Constitutional Affairs which indicate that some 89,857 court orders for possession of property were filed last year - the highest number recorded since 1993. However, just under one in five (19 per cent) were said to result in an actual repossession, in comparison to 56 per cent of the 105,283 orders recorded 14 years ago. As a result, the effects of continued interest rate rises by the Bank of England were reported to have caused an estimated 35,000 people to lose their homes over the course of last year.

Although the majority of homeowners, due to the "continued buoyancy of the housing market", were reported to be able to rent out a property after their finances had become too stretched to keep making mortgage repayments the firm pointed out that such consumers may not be able to do this in the near future.

Paul Walshe, head of lender services for Moore Blatch, said: "Many people who are struggling to pay their mortgage are just selling their property. This is fine whilst the market remains strong, but the recent rises in interest rates are likely to dampen demand and may well result in some of these 'hidden repossessions' becoming real repossessions".

The solicitors firm added that as the Bank's monetary policy committee is likely to increase the base rate for a fourth time this year, property owners could be set to feel an even greater strain on their day-to-day finances. As a result, it was predicted that the number of both forced sales and house repossessions is set to rise over the coming months.

Meanwhile, a Capital Economics study carried out in May indicated that homeowners are facing increasing pressure on their day-to-day finances as property prices continue to rise. Following the Bank's decision to increase the base rate by a quarter of a percentage point in May, the firm claimed that repayments on personal loans and various other forms of debt are set to account for some 23 per cent of households' monthly income.

As a result of the fourth base rate increase in the space of 12 months, the average 100,000 pounds mortgage borrower was reported to have had to find an extra 80 pounds per month to meet homeowner loan costs. However, this figure is likely to have risen even more following the decision to increase the base rate of interest in July. Overall, mortgage repayments were reported to have "typically doubled" over the last four years. As a result, Vicky Redwood, UK economist for the financial services firm, told Scotland on Sunday that "some households will undoubtedly begin to struggle", as "affordability is being squeezed at historically painful rates".
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for Loan-Arrangers .co.uk where visitors can compare loans online. Then apply for the best secured loans and bad credit loans available.
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