Low interest rates, a strong economy and rising house values have helped Australians keep on top of their mortgages, a new study from Fitch Ratings shows. Over the past year, mortgage delinquencies have dropped across Australia, but lower-socio economic areas on the fringe suburbs of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are still struggling financially.
Based on September 2014 data, just 0.9 per cent of home loans are more than 30 days in arrears, the lowest number since 2007 when the ratings agency began reporting mortgage delinquencies by postcode. The figure has more than halved from 2 per cent in early 2008 and fell sharply from 1.26 per cent in March last year.
The best-performing areas were north-west inner Brisbane, lower northern Sydney and inner western Sydney. The best-performing region in Melbourne was Boroondara City.
The Queensland suburb of Kingston, in the Logan area south of Brisbane, was at the top of the list of 20 postcodes in Australia where homeowners are falling behind on mortgage repayments. Queensland is the worst performing state, with eight of the top 20 postcodes coming from that state. Other areas on the list include Laidley and Mount Isa in Queensland, Cessnock, Green Valley and Budgewoi in New South Wales, Goodwood/Montrose in Tasmania, Aldinga in South Australia and Hillside and Corio in Victoria.
With yesterday’s Consumer Price Index data showing inflation rose just 1.7 per cent over the past year, low mortgage rates should continue in 2015.