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New report highlights risk of mortgage defaults

Staff reporter 3 minute read

The amount of income Sydney and Melbourne households are using to pay off their mortgage is rising, signalling a greater chance of mortgage defaults in the two capitals.

According to Moody’s Australian Housing Affordability Measure, households with two income earners need on average 27 per cent of their wages to make home loan repayments as of 31 March 2015 – unchanged from the previous year.

However, Sydney and Melbourne’s housing affordability measure was at 35.1 per cent and 28.2 per cent respectively in March – up from 32.8 per cent and 27.5 per cent.

The report said the deterioration in housing affordability in Sydney and Melbourne is “credit negative” for new home loans in these cities.

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“Less affordable mortgages increase the risk of delinquency and default, particularly if interest rates rise from their current low levels,” it said.

“The larger loan sizes and repayment obligations of new mortgages in Sydney and Melbourne are especially problematic since these mortgages are being underwritten at historically low interest rates.”

Meanwhile, the affordability measure in Perth was at 21.9 per cent – down from 24.6 per cent, while Brisbane was at 23.4 per cent – down from 24.4 per cent.

Affordability was steady in Adelaide at 22.1 per cent.

Moody’s research also found that while Australia’s national affordability measure of 27 per cent is lower than the 10-year average of 29.6 per cent, Sydney’s current affordability measure is higher than the 10-year average of 33.6 per cent.

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[Related: Property lobby reveals 5-point plan to boost affordability]

New report highlights risk of mortgage defaults
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