City&FinanceBriefing London Lite Friday, 14 August 2009 27 Housing on the rise as seizures fall THERE were fresh hopes for a recovery in the housing market after latest figures from the Coun- cil of Mortgage Lenders today showed a 10% fall in the number of homes repossessed in the second quarter of the year compared with the previous three months. Lenders said that the number of homes repossessed in the UK fell to 11,400 in the three months to June, compared with 12,700 in the first quarter. On the year, repossessions were 14% higher, and there was a 2.5% rise in the number of people who fell behind with their mortgage repayments, which hit 205,600 in the second quarter. But the figures are still being seen as evidence of m o r e g r e e n sh o o t s i n t h e economy. The council recently slashed its estimate for repossessions this year by 10,000 to 65,000 British homes. It said a combination of factors had helped people who were struggling with their mortgage stay in their home, including low interest rates, increased help from lenders and a raft of government schemes. However, the group warned against complacency. The CMLs head of policy Jackie Bennett said: With unemployment rising and the economy still weak, the outlook will remain challenging for the rest of this year and into 2010. But todays data shows that lenders are committed to helping borrowers manage their way through temporary payment prob- lems and get their mortgage back on track over time, avoiding pos- session where possible. The news follows signs that prices in the housing market are bottom- ing out. The Halifax, Britains biggest mortgage lender, said prices rose 1.1% in July, to an average cost of 159,623. High hopes: CML has slashed its forecast LONDON shares moved to fresh highs for the year today on growing talk that the recession is over and that company profits will soon return to health. The FTSE index of the 100 top shares was heading for its third up day on the trot, the latest indication there is a genuine bull market which could be sustained. Sceptics say that recent strong corporate earnings merely reflect cost cutting rather than rising demand for products and that once unemployment takes its toll on the economy, the stock market will run out of steam. Today the FTSE 100 was up 23.06 at 4778.81 this morning, the highest level since last October. forecastitsslashedhasCMLhopes:High LONDON shares moved to fresh highs for the year today on growing talk that the recession is over and that company profits will soon return to health. theondayupthirditsforheadingwassharestop100theofindexFTSEThe sustained.becouldwhichmarketbullgenuineaisthereindicationlatestthetrot, Sceptics say that recent strong corporate earnings merely reflect cost cutting rather than rising demand for products and that once unemployment takes its toll on the economy, the stock market will run out of steam. Today the FTSE 100 was up 23.06 at 4778.81 this morning, the highest level since last October. Footsie rise lifts hopes of a rally BY LUCY TOBIN Australia Dollars 1.8703 Canada Dollars 1.7126 Denmark Kroner 8.2267 Eurozone Euro 1.1088 Hong Kong Dollars 12.1700 Japan Yen 151.5300 New Zealand Dollars 2.2841 South Africa Rand 12.3700 Sweden Kronor 11.3300 Switzerland Francs 1.6955 UAE Dirham 5.7006 United States Dollars 1.5796 TOURIST RATES HIGH Street bellwether John Lewis saw sales dip 5% in the first week of August, after a rare bit of sunshine kept customers out of its department stores. The Brent Cross branch was particularly bad, with sales dropping 9.4%. The latest figures come after encouraging sales data from July. EUROSTAR is to replace current British chief executive Richard Brown with Frenchman Nicolas Petrovic, the firms chief operating officer as part of restructuring plans. France will also reduce its stake in the business while Britain will increase its holding. First half sales at the group fell 7% to 342.2 million as the recession took its toll. UP 23.06 at 4778.81 FTSE 100 DOW JONES NIKKEI -$ UP 36.58 at 9398.19 UP 80.14 at 10,597.33 DOWN 0.25 at $1.6558 >>For all the latest City share prices, call 0905 817 1694* or visit thisismoney.co.uk * Calls cost 75p/min from a BT landline & last approx 1 min per quote. Not all stocks are available index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html