A fifth at risk of negative equity

New figures suggest that a large percentage of Brits may be forced to stay in their current property whether they like it or not.

Research from fairinvestment.co.uk found that 21 per cent of UK mortgage holders borrowed a mortgage loan to value (LTV) of 90 per cent or more – meaning they are now at risk of negative equity thanks to the house price slump.

Even more worryingly, three per cent managed to get 125 per cent mortgages before the financial climate took a turn for the worse, while five per cent took out a mortgage for between 101 and 125 per cent of the value of their homes.

Many will find that they will pay back more than their home is worth and will be forced to stay in their homes or risk losing thousands of pounds in equity.

Fairinvestment.co.uk chartered financial planner Sharon Bratley explained that homeowners face a tough situation.

"Our statistics show that, although the days of high LTVs are now in the past, there are a number of mortgage holders out there who did borrow more than 90 per cent of their homes value," she said.

"These homeowners could now be at risk of negative equity as house prices continue to come down, particularly if they bought their house within the last three years."

Those who find they have to wait things out until the market recovers may consider improving their home to add value and functionality to it in the interim.

Adding a conservatory or dining room extension can give a property a new dimension as well as add value, if done properly.