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Signs that the economic storm is clearing?

The lowest level of home repossession in three years gas been recorded - with around 9,145 homeowners having their homes repossessed in the three months to the end of September.

Figures from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) also show a fall in the number of people who fall behind with monthly mortgage repayments.

Repossession levels are lower than expected due to a combination of low interest rates, Government support schemes and greater flexibility from lenders.

The figures also showed signs that the mortgage market is picking up during the third quarter, with net lending reaching £8.3bn - its highest level for almost two years.

The figure was 27% higher than the same period last year but the improvement looks unlikely to continue amid tight credit conditions and a faltering housing market.

The data also showed that the criteria for lending remain tight, with just over 2% of advances made to people borrowing more than 90% of their home's value.

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