City bucks mortgage stress trend
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.