Mortgage borrowers feeling increasingly confident

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Homebuyers are feeling more confident and experiencing less mortgage stress, although fewer people think now is a good time to buy.

The Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index for September has climbed to 98.1, after sitting at 92.4 per cent the year before.

The survey of more than 2,000 Australians also found that the confidence of first home buyers who had made their purchase in the past year had increased from 85.0 to 98.4.

Mortgage stress among respondents fell from 26 to 15 per cent, while there was also a drop in the share of people who thought now was a good time to buy, from 46 to 41 per cent.

Genworth chief commercial officer Bridget Sakr said the increase in confidence was probably due to 13 months of record-low interest rates, increased certainty around the May federal Budget and the health of the Australian economy.

“Almost half of surveyed home owners said they increased their mortgage buffer by making overpayments during the past 12 months,” she said.

“Interest rates have virtually disappeared as a source of mortgage stress with just three per cent of struggling homeowners now citing this as a key factor of mortgage stress compared to 50 per cent in September 2011.”

[Related: LMI makes sense, say prominent brokers]

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