About 900,000 homeowners in the UK have slipped into negative equity, according to research from the Council for Mortgage Lenders.

CML figures show that borrowers in the north of England are most at risk of having a mortgage worth more than the value of their home; 10% are in negative equity. East Anglia and Scotland have the least number of borrowers in negative equity.

The industry body also shows that unlike during the early 1990s when most negative equity cases were younger borrowers and firsttime buyers, negative equity is now affecting older borrowers. About a quarter of borrowers in negative equity were aged 40 or above when they took out the mortgage.

The CML says that two thirds of people in negative equity face only modest shortfalls of less than 10% of the value of their property. It says this might equate to about £6,000 for the average first-time buyer, for example.

Financial Times, The Times