British homeowners have reduced their outstanding mortgage debt by £6.1 billion in the third quarter, driven by record low mortgage rates and the fears of tough times ahead.

The Q3 figure was the highest net injection of equity people have made into their homes since the beginning of 2009.

According to the Bank of England, the £6.1 billion figure compares with a lower £5.8 billion repayment seen in Q2 this year, and a £5.3 billion repayment recorded in Q1. This is equivalent to 2.4 percent of homeowners’ post-tax income.

About £49.7 billion has been paid down on home loans since Q2 2008.