The Council of Mortgage Lenders has said that although it had not yet finalised its figures it believes that the number of properties taken into possession last year will not exceed 45,000. It said that actions already taken by lenders and borrowers were resulting in fewer possessions than anticipated. The figures are due for release on 20 February. Meanwhile the number of mortgages lent to house buyers last year fell to its lowest level since 1974. Just 516,000 mortgages were granted to buyers, down 49 per cent from 2014.