DATA SHOWS 0% OF KY HOMES ARE UNDER MORTGAGE STRESS
ZERO per cent of Kyabram’s 1141 mortgaged households are in stress at current interest rates.
That’s according to the latest data released by the ABC’s Four Corners during its disturbing analysis on Australia’s potentially fatal attraction to real estate.
However, Kyabram Salvation Army’s John Roberts fears these statistics do not reflect the realities in our town.
“I definitely wouldn’t say it’s zero per cent. I can think of three people just now who have come in recently because they’re behind on mortgage repayments,” he said.
“It’s not just mortgage stress, though. If people are struggling with mortgages, they’re often struggling with a lot more. It’s a knock-on effect.
“Naturally, food comes first, then mortgage payments and electricity payments. Often people will throw the bill into the corner and hope it will just go away.”
Mr Roberts said mortgage stress often came after sudden changes such as loss of a job, a partner died or walking out, or an illness in the family.
“We recently had a lady whose husband moved out and left her with no white goods, four children and all the payments. She was just devastated,” he said.
He urged people to come to the Salvation Army sooner rather than later.
“Often by the time people come to us, their situation is getting critical. Come to us as soon as possible and don’t wait,” he said.
“And don’t ignore your bills. If you show good faith, many places will give once-off assistance.”
The statistics are higher in Tongala, with 17 per cent of the town’s 405 mortgaged households in stress.
Trevor Bassett from Wealth Solution Partners said mortgage stress was a nation-wide threat.
“People are paying more for houses Australia-wide. While many people in Kyabram may not be seeing that stress yet, it’s definitely a reality in major cities,” he said.
M + S Group Accounting’s Raymond Warren encourages locals to plan meticulously before being saddled with a home loan.
And while it may sound like common sense advice to some, Mr Warren has seen too many people suffer in cash-strapped times to skim over the simple stuff.
“It is crucial to start with a larger deposit, meaning you have borrowed less and have less to repay,” he said.
“You have to be sensible and budget for it, planning for worst case scenarios. If interest rates do go up, you need to be able to repay it.
“Half the time mortgage stress is due to marriage breakdowns or someone passing away, or the sudden loss of a job.
“It’s vital to have income protection or loan protection insurance in place in case of incidents like these.”