Home re­pos­ses­sions surge

Southern Telegraph - - Front Page - Nick Bru­in­ing and Neale Prior

Mandurah has had a surge in the num­ber of bank re­pos­ses­sions in the past year, with home­own­ers strug­gling to keep up with mort­gage re­pay­ments.

Prop­erty re­pos­ses­sions across the State have also surged to their high­est level since the shake­down af­ter the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis as the min­ing down­turn rocks the last bas­tion for bat­tlers.

Supreme Court records show banks moved to seize 1226 proper- ties in the year to Septem­ber 30, a pe­riod in which mort­gage prob­lems surged in outer re­gions to record lev­els.

LMW Val­uers di­rec­tor Rod David­son said there had been a no­tice­able in­crease in bank re­pos­ses­sions in the south-western firsthome­buyer sub­urbs from Bal­divis through to Rock­ing­ham.

“It’s prob­a­bly the fi­nan­cial shake-out of the end of the min­ing boom be­cause many of th­ese are FIFO work­ers who have now run out of op­tions,” he said.

“You don’t lose your house the day you lose your job, it usu­ally takes 12 to 24 months.”

Data re­leased by Moody’s In­vestor Ser­vices show that about 3.8 per cent of home­own­ers in the Mandurah re­gion had slipped 30 days or more be­hind on their mort­gage re­pay­ments by the mid­dle of the year.

This is dou­ble the delin­quency rate recorded dur­ing the min­ing boom and only marginally be­low the peak of the post-GFC hous­ing mar­ket shake-out in 2011.

Mr David­son said north­ern mort­gage-belt sub­urbs had not shown the same in­crease. “It’s al­most a two-tiered mar­ket at the mo­ment be­cause es­tab­lished hous­ing in older sub­urbs close to the city are trans­act­ing well,” he said.

The Supreme Court does not break down re­pos­ses­sions ac­cord­ing to sub­urbs, but the lat­est Moody’s data about those 30 days or more be­hind on pay­ments pro­vide point­ers to prob­lem ar­eas.

The 30-day delin­quency rate in in­ner-city Perth had risen a mod- est 1.1 per cent, still be­low its postGFC peak of 1.4 per cent in 2011.

An Angli­care fi­nan­cial coun­sel­lor based in Rock­ing­ham, Jacky Hamil­ton, said the mort­gage prob­lems un­der­pinned a wor­ry­ing trend of un­der­em­ploy­ment.

“Many peo­ple who were in full­time em­ploy­ment might now get the odd ca­sual job, but it’s not enough to ser­vice their cost of liv­ing,” she said.

“They max out the credit cards, fall be­hind in their pay­ments and then the bank moves in.”

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