123 homes to be repossessed each day in 2008 say experts

AROUND 123 homes will be repossessed every day during 2008 as people struggle to keep up with their mortgage repayments, research claimed today.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said just under 45,000 people would lose their home during the year as the cost of servicing a mortgage remains close to record levels.

The figure is in line with estimates from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which also expects 45,000 homes to be taken over by lenders, while City watchdog the Financial Services Authority said that 840,000 mortgages were a "cause for concern" due to their riskier lending characteristics.

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At the same time, RICS said the cost of getting on to the property ladder was now 351 per cent more expensive than at its most accessible point in 1996.

It said a first-time buyer couple who were both on the bottom 25 per cent of earnings, bringing in 26,595 a year after tax, would now have to save the equivalent of 104 per cent of their joint annual take-home pay, or 27,729, in order to afford the deposit, fees and stamp duty for a typical home.

It said this was well up on the 23 per cent of annual earnings the same couple would have needed to save in 1996.