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The number of repossessions in the UK is unlikely to reach levels seen in the 1990s, although they may reach their highest in a couple of years’ time, it has been predicted.

Ian Shepherdson, a global economist, said the number of repossessions has come down in recent months, although this might be down to the fall in interest rates.

"Now that the rates are stable and they aren’t going anywhere for a while, the big driver is likely to be the massive rise in unemployment," he suggested.

Mr Shepherdson predicted a "big repossession wave", which is unlikely to subsidise in the near future.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported in May that there were 12,800 repossessions by mortgage lenders in the first quarter of this year.

In the fourth quarter of 2008 there were 10,400 repossessions and 8,500 in the first three months of the same year.

However, the CML expects that its initial prediction of 75,000 repossessions over the course of this year may have been too high and expects to revise the figure.

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