According to figures released by the Bank of England, in the last two years UK homeowners have increased their equity stakes in their properties by a whopping £38.3 billion.

£3.2 billion of this was in the first quarter of this year. This figure is slightly lower than the £3.4 billion from the last three months of 2009 but it appears that increasing equity stakes is a trend set to continue for some time yet.

It has been a full two years since the figures showed equity being removed from UK properties overall. In the two years before this, borrowers took out home loans worth £87 billion against their property values, usually to consolidate debt or spend on large items such as cars or conservatories.

These figures show how UK homeowners have changed their behaviour in the last few years in response to the housing market changes we have seen, lower interest rates and a fear of forthcoming job losses or debts. Below is the equity withdrawal figures table as published on the BBC website:

* Q1 2005: £7.02bn
* Q1 2006: £12bn
* Q1 2007: £13.32bn
* Q1 2008: £6.44bn
* Q1 2009: -£7.34bn
* Q1 2010: -£3.2bn

Source: Bank of England

IHS Global Insight spokesperson, Howard Archer, said:

“The eighth successive, and still marked, net injection of housing equity in the first quarter of 2010 is the consequence of the ongoing desire of many people to improve their personal balance sheets.

“Furthermore, extremely low savings interest rates have made it much more attractive for many people to use any spare funds that they have to reduce their mortgages.”

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