Northern Ireland's negative equity problem

New research by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) suggests that negative equity could soon just be an issue for Northern Ireland property owners.

Negative equity occurs when a homeowner has a bigger mortgage than the market value of their property, and most commonly occurs when the market sees a widespread decrease in property values. In the UK, there was a 13% drop in the number of people who were in negative equity, largely as a result of people overpaying on their mortgages to reduce the amount owed as quickly as possible.

Homeowners who purchased from 2005 to 2008 are those most affected by negative equity, as purchasers were buying at the peak of the property boom, and say their property values decline thereafter.

Northern Ireland went through a larger property boom and bust than the rest of the UK, and as such, negative equity continues to be an issue for 35% of those people who purchased a property since 2005 - approximately 69,000 people. The size of the problem in Northern Ireland is put in context when you consider that the next highest regions of the UK have 15% of purchasers during the same period in negative equity, and the lowest region is at 5%.

If you require legal advice from a property solicitor in Northern Ireland in respect of a house purchaser, sale or remortgage, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9290.