City bucks mort­gage stress trend

South Western Times - - News - Emily Ace

BUN­BURY is far­ing com­par­i­tively well com­pared to other re­gional cen­tres as a record num­ber of peo­ple in WA fall be­hind with their mort­gage re­pay­ments, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port from rat­ings agency Moody’s.

The pro­por­tion of res­i­den­tial mort­gages which were more than 30 days in ar­rears in­creased in Bun­bury from 2.72 per cent in May 2016 to 2.82 per cent in May this year, which sits be­low WA’s av­er­age rate of 2.96 per cent.

This is the high­est rate since records be­gan in 2005 with the prob­lem ex­pected to grow through the re­main­der of 2017.

More Bun­bury peo­ple are fall­ing be­hind with their mort­gage pay­ments than those in Perth, with the in­ner-city rate de­creas­ing from 1.65 per cent in 2016 to 1.10 per cent in 2017 and the out­ly­ing metropoli­tan ar­eas record­ing a rate range of 2.67 to 2.73 per cent.

Bun­bury’s rate sits well be­low those hard­est hit, which are Perth’s north-east (3.40), Man­durah (3.82), the Wheat­belt (3.87) and the re­main­ing WA re­gional ar­eas with an av­er­age of 7.63 per cent – in­creas­ing from 4.72 per cent the pre­vi­ous year.

The re­port stated “rel­a­tively poorer eco­nomic and hous­ing mar­ket con­di­tions” had con­trib­uted to the record high level of mort­gage stress, as well as a 10.35 per cent WA un­der-em­ploy­ment rate, much higher than the na­tional av­er­age of 8.76 per cent.

Han­cock Real Es­tate prin­ci­pal Mal Han­cock said peo­ple in Bun­bury were try­ing to “con­sol­i­date” their real es­tate after “buy­ing into a mar­ket that has not seen any cap­i­tal growth for 10 years”.

Mr Han­cock said home­own­ers and in­vestors had strug­gled to re­pay their mort­gages be­cause em­ploy­ment had dried up, which had also ex­tended to rental pay­ments.

“I have seen first-hand a lot of peo­ple have lost jobs or had their hours re­duced and a lot of peo­ple re­lo­cate for their work,” he said.

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