Young home owners hardest hit by negative equity

People under the age of 35 are most affected by the housing market crisis, with 38% of them living in homes which are now worth less than they paid for them, according to research by home owners association VEH.

By the middle of last year, 517,000 home owners lived in property worth less than their mortgage debt – equivalent to over 14% of the country’s 3.5 million mortgage holders, the Financieele Dagblad reports. In total, the potential negative equity was €15.3bn, the paper says.
People younger than 35 who bought a house after 2001 are hardest hit, because they borrowed most – at least five times their annual salary in 2008 – and have little in the way of savings.
‘This is in contrast to the older generations who have profited from the years of house price rises and tend to have excess value in the their homes, the VEH told the FD.
If house prices fall 10% this year, the number of households with negative equity will rise to 22% of the total and the combined shortfall to nearly €30bn, or €39,000 per household, the VEH calculates.

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