This question posed by the Council of Mortgage Lenders in a recent newsletter shows that it is not only First Time Buyers who are finding themselves locked out of the housing market. It seems that many homeowners now have a much lower level of equity in their property than they did during the “boom” years. With Lenders tightening up on Loan to Value (LTV) ratios many would-be movers simply cannot get together a big enough deposit to enable them to move up to the next rung of the property ladder. Add the high cost of moving and uncertainty about employment prospects and it seems that many are resigned to having to stay put. The problem is at present the mainstream lenders have a stranglehold over mortgage finance. Hopefully from next year others will be tempted into the market as the quality of mortgage underwriting standards improves. This should result in a less stringent approach to LTV’s but only time will tell.