More people in the UK are now concerned about surging house prices than being stuck in negative equity, except in Northern Ireland and the North East of England.
A report has found that in 10 out of 12 regions there is greater concern about higher property prices than negative equity, amid fears about homes becoming unaffordable spread across the country.
Consumer group the HomeOwners Alliance, which campaigns for property owners and people trying to get on the housing ladder, said its research shows that worries over high house prices amid a scarcity of homes for people to choose from have become a “national issue”.
The group’s report, which surveyed more than 2,500 people, including homeowners and people who do not own a property, found that it is not just London or the South where spiralling house values are becoming a concern.
More people think house prices are a “very serious issue” compared with those who are concerned about their home losing so much value that they are stuck in negative equity in Scotland, Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West, the West Midlands, the East Midlands, the South West, the South East and London.
The North East and Northern Ireland, where prices have only recently started to stabilise, were the only areas where the danger of being into negative equity is still seen as a more serious concern than rising values in the property market.
When asked about what housing issues they thought were very serious, across the UK, 39 per cent of people highlighted house prices, 25 per cent pinpointed negative equity and 33 per cent selected housing availability.
The Homeowners Alliance report suggested that “the housing crisis is most acute in London”. The English capital is the area where people are the most concerned in the UK both about house prices and housing availability, with 55 per cent and 44 per cen of Londoners voicing concerns over these issues respectively.
Northern Ireland is the area where people are most concerned about negative equity, with almost half (47 per cent) of people there highlighting it as a very serious issue, according to the group’s 2014 Annual Homeowner Survey.
Many homeowners who bought their house around the pre-financial crisis peak of the market found that as the downturn took hold, the value of their property tumbled to such an extent that they were trapped with little equity in their home or that they had even ploughed more money into it than it was worth.
Research was done by YouGov.