Home repossessions surge
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.”