Last week you might recall that I was sympathising with Sydney-siders who have the worst mortgage stress in Australia. Apparently a lot can happen in a week because the new figures are now showing that Sydney people are no longer the worst off – this dubious honour now goes to mortgage holders living in Brisbane, with those paying off home loans in Melbourne being very close behind. Of course, many Sydney mortgage holders are still struggling but they’re no longer top of the table!
According to the experts the reason for Brisbane and Melbourne home loans being so difficult to pay off is that the property prices in these two cities have surged suddenly and significantly in recent years, whereas Sydney prices have always been pretty high and have been increasing at a more steady rate – taking the surprise element out of mortgage difficulties, at least to some extent.
In other parts of Australia, the rate of mortgage holders having trouble in making mortgage repayments has also risen in Adelaide. The lucky people are those in Perth – despite large increases in the housing prices, the proportion of people having to pay more than 30 per cent of their income in mortgage repayments has fallen over the past decade. Presumably this comes as a result of the mining and economic boom in the Western Australian capital where significantly more people have higher incomes thanks to employment in the mining sector.
Fixed rate mortgages: Fix them now!
In other news, experts are also suggesting that if you are after a fixed rate mortgage, now might be the time to arrange that. Apparently banks are increasing their rates on fixed rate mortgages, an event that usually comes shortly before a variable rate rise, and a time which means home loan owners should try to fix their rate before further increases come, if a fixed rate loan is what suits you.