David Williams, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has welcomed the news that the number of repossessions during 2009 was less than had been forecast, and is almost half of the number that took place in the early 1990s, but he insists that the Government must continue their help for homeowners.
David said, “Lower interest rates and Labour’s measures to help people have assisted more struggling families stay in their homes than previously predicted. Repossessions in Crewe and Nantwich have fallen by over 7% but I believe that this is still too high and that the Government must continue with its help for struggling homeowners.”
Compared to the early 1990s recession, fewer houses have been repossessed – 46,000 across the UK in 2009 against 75,500 across the UK in 1991. Arrears are also down whilst the number of mortgages has increased from 9.8m to 11.1m.
David commented, “The main difference this time is that Labour has taken action to support people. Instead of leaving people to sink or swim, we have invested to help keep people in their homes. This help must continue if we are to see the number of repossession fall further.”
Michael Coogan, Director General of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said, “The fact that mortgage arrears and possessions did not rise as much as we feared in 2009 is testament to the effect of low interest rates, and a great deal of concerted efforts by lenders, Government and the advice sector to help borrowers to address financial difficulties when they occur.”
Howard Archer, Chief UK and European Economist at IHS Global Insight, said, “The CML and Ministry of Justice data indicate that Government initiatives to reduce repossessions by requiring lenders and borrowers to examine all alternatives is having a significant beneficial impact in helping people to keep their homes.”
David concluded, “The risk of repossessions is still too high and families are still feeling pressure on their finances. That is why the Government must continue and extend its support for those who need it most. The Government is working with local advice agencies to make sure people can access the help they need – from free legal advice to the backstop Mortgage Rescue Scheme for the most vulnerable households. More than 330,000 families have benefitted from help advice with their mortgage over the past year and Labour is committed to doing everything we can to prevent families from going through the trauma of repossession.”