§ Mr. Battle
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the number of house purchasers with negative equity on their homes.
§ Mr. Nelson
House prices have clearly increased since their trough in the first half of 1993, reducing negative equity. The latest estimate from the Bank of England is that in the third quarter of 1994, 1,096,000 households had negative equity. This represents a fall of 678,000 households, or over 38 per cent. compared with the first quarter of 1993.