Aussie mortgagees enjoy newfound breathing room

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The cost of living remains the leading cause of financial stress among Aussie households, but the number who are struggling to meet their mortgage commitments is down.

This is according to the results of the biannual Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index (HCI), which shows all states (Tasmania aside) saw an improvement in sentiment.

Genworth CEO Ellie Comerford said the results are a strong indication of how Australians view current market conditions. “Cost of living pressures remain but today’s interest rates are lowering the cost of mortgages, allowing people to save more and in turn improving sentiment and a perception of being more financially secure in the year ahead.” 

Victoria saw the largest increase in sentiment, according to the HCI, overtaking New South Wales and Queensland. Victorian borrowers are among the least likely to be experiencing mortgage stress, and among the most likely to believe that now is a good time to buy a home. 

South Australia saw the second highest increase in sentiment and its households are among the least likely to have experienced mortgage stress in the past year at 17%. 

Surveyed Queenslanders had the highest debt levels and the highest expectation of difficulty meeting repayments. One third reported spending more than 50% of their income on servicing debt. However, 54% believed now is a good time to buy a home – the highest by state.

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