Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 13:03 UK

Negative equity: Your stories

For sale signs
Some people are facing difficulties as prices fall after the recent boom

Figures obtained by the BBC reveal that more than 23,200 people who took out 100% mortgages in the year to 31 March could face negative equity.

Falling house prices mean the amount borrowed could be greater than the value of their properties.

Owners tend to only face a problem if they have to move, or cannot afford to pay the mortgage.

BBC News website readers, many of whom find themselves in negative equity, have been giving their views.

AMIT RAO, WATFORD

I live in negative equity as two years ago I managed to get myself a mortgage with the now infamous Northern Rock. In fairness the negative equity product they provided me with allowed me to get my foot onto the property ladder.

My payments were high as a result of my borrowings but manageable. I had secured a two-year fixed rate (at 5.6%) which unfortunately expired this April.

As a result my monthly payments have gone soaring up by more than 200 per month which equates to well over half my salary as their variable rate is a whopping 7.9%. Although I am in no rush to move I would like to secure a better rate and have tried fruitlessly.

There are no lenders prepared to offer me a re-mortgage on the grounds that I am in negative equity and Northern Rock themselves are also unable to help me.

So from now until house prices rise again and I gain some valuable equity I will be living on baked beans but at least I can sleep in my cold and empty home in the knowledge that I have secured a place on the property ladder - or should that read poverty ladder?

SARAH MIDDLETON, COALVILLE

As a teacher, I earn a good wage. I purchased my house one year ago with a deposit and since then the house prices have fallen.

This means I am now in negative equity. I live alone. With rising fuel, council tax, food and petrol bills I do not have enough income to cover outgoings. I cannot put my house on the market because it would sell for less than I paid for it.

ANDY, SOUTHPORT

There will always be people facing negative equity, it only becomes a problem if the owner wants to sell.

Such coverage in the media puts people at fear unnecessarily and contributes to driving the economy down.

It is good that people are aware of potential issues but I feel our economic state has less to do with the government and more to do with the media driven frenzy.

MARK, BATH

I would like to point out that us 30-somethings have seen this before during the early 90s.

I would like to point out that us 30-somethings have seen this before during the early 90s

My wife and I purchased a house for 52,000, on a 90% mortgage. Three years later it was valued at 36,000 and we desperately needed to move.

However we held on and within a couple of years sold for 60,000+.

My advice is to enjoy your house as a home, something we have forgotten about in this country.

MIKE THOMPSON, EASTLEIGH

Myself and my wife got a 100% mortgage a couple of years ago but we didn't borrow the max value that we could borrow.

We knew we had to look ahead and make allowances for these situations and be prepared for the worse.

My personal opinion is that many people borrowed too much to get their ideal home first instead of borrowing a realistic amount with leverage.

I don't own the house of my dreams but we are comfortable and financial secure if the problem continues to worsen. I feel sorry for first-time buyers. Many properties are out of their reach, and the only way to buy is to borrow the max, but I think this is too much of a risk and would add to the problem.

This is just my personal opinion and I'm fully aware everyone has a different personal situation.

RICHARD SEPHTON, LONDON

It was at the peak of the market in August 2007 when my friend and I took out a 100% mortgage to purchase a two-bedroom flat in south London.

We are both doing all we can to save at least some deposit ... This is, however, easier said than done

Now with the negative equity almost a certainty and the mortgage up for renewal in 18 months we are both doing all we can to save at least some deposit so we don't get hit when we come off our fixed rate.

This is, however, easier said than done.

The reality will only hurt if we decide to sell. Renting is always an option if we get into trouble, but my view is that as soon as the mortgage market sorts out then people will soon be able to afford to buy again and the market, in some areas, not all, will stabilise.

Here's for hoping.

BEN SKINNER, LEEDS

I am in massive negative equity and have been for months.

I bought a new flat in the centre of Leeds three years ago and the oversupply of these flats combined with the current economic situation has caused the value of these flats to plummet by over 30%.

After the initial depression lifted I have simply had to come to terms with the fact that I made a big mistake. I didn't do enough research and will pay dearly for my mistake.

I won't be giving it all up and going travelling in the next 10 years or living in a house with a garden, I will be working my butt off to pay off the difference to get back to a break-even point.

This though is my fault and my responsibility to deal with, and I will, by hard work - not by whingeing and expecting the government to bale me out.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific