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Drop in households in negative equity over the last 18 months

But around 26 per cent of mortgages taken out in 2007 are now in negative equity

The number of borrowers in negative equity has declined by more than 100,000 since the first three months of last year, from 827,000 to 719,000, according to figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

The figures also show that the proportion of first-time buyers who have taken out loans since 2005 and are in negative equity has declined from 26 per cent to 20 per cent.

Around 90 per cent of all borrowers taking out loans since 2005 hold some equity in their property, with more than half owning at least 30 per cent of the value of the property.

The CML data also indicates that payment problems peaked during the recent economic downturn at much lower levels than in the early 1990s and have been on a downward path since 2009.