A quarter 'trapped' in their current homes

Some 25 per cent of homeowners in the UK say they feel trapped in their current home by their financial situation.

Research from Gocompare.com has revealed that the credit crunch has led many to abandon plans to move home or make changes to their existing properties.

Those hit hardest by the crunch are the under-25s, 44 per cent of whom admitted they felt trapped in their current residence and only 14 per cent of whom said they would consider moving house within the next three years.

Around four in five homeowners plan to stay in their existing properties for the next three years.

In Northern Ireland, some 14.3 per cent of Belfast homeowners have revealed that they will not be consulting solicitors about moving home because they feel trapped, and some 21.4 per cent of Belfast residents have abandoned plans to move in the next year.

Alan Brindle, head of research at the Bank of Ireland's Northern Ireland Branch, told the Observer that the property market in the province "hit a brick wall" in late 2007, meaning that house sales are down by more than a third on a year ago.

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