Curse of negative equity hits one in ten

One in ten borrowers is in negative equity, a report shows. It warned that further falls in house prices could see the proportion soaring to one in three. The international ratings agency Fitch said its findings point to a surge in mortgage defaults and repossessions. It said the East Midlands – and in particular Northampton, Nottingham and Derby – had the highest concentrations of homeowners with negative equity. In Northampton, 23.6 per cent of homes are valued at less than the mortgage. But in some city centres the rate is even higher – the peak is central Birmingham with 31.2 per cent and Salford Quays, Manchester with 29.6 per cent.