An increasing number of homeowners are concerned with paying their debts rather than moving up the housing ladder, it is claimed.
Senior investment adviser at Bestinvest Adrian Lowcock says this trend needs to ease off before the situation can improve.
"This indicates a lack of confidence in the wider economy," he continues, which may encourage people to seek debt management advice.
In addition to this, the ability of borrowers to get good rates is dependent on having a good loan-to-value, Mr Lowcocks believes, which also leads to a poor view of the economy.
According to the Bank of England’s estimate, House Equity Withdrawal for the fourth quarter of 2008 was -£8 billion.
This implies that individuals injected a net total of £8 billion into housing equity in the fourth quarter, the Bank states.
It compares to a revised estimate of a net injection into housing equity of £5.9 billion in the third quarter of 2008.
The Land Registry House Price Index recently found that monthly house prices in England and Wales fell by two per cent in February.