HC Deb 08 November 1995 vol 265 cc990-1W
Mr. Hanson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his latest estimate of the number of households in negative equity. [40341]

Mr. Clappison

Estimates of negative equity are sensitive to the underlying assumptions such as changes in house prices. Using the Department's house price index, adjusted for the mix of different dwelling types, to measure changes in house prices, it is estimated that in the second quarter of 1995 some 850,000 households in England and Wales were living in homes where the market value was less than the outstanding loan debt. This estimate provides only a very broad indication of the numbers in this position. The suitability of the assumptions used in compiling the estimates are currently under review.