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Mortgage stress on the rise in Sydney and Melbourne

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Lucy Dean 3 minute read

Home owners and renters in Sydney and Melbourne are feeling the squeeze of meeting rent and mortgage repayments but should brace for a rate hike in the future, experts believe.

According to 58 per cent of economists and experts responding to the finder.com.au survey, people living in Sydney and Melbourne are experiencing repayment and rent stress.

Eighty-eight per cent of respondents also believe the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is set to tighten interest rates in the future.

Graham Cooke, insights manager at comparison site finder.com.au, said mortgagors should be prepared for rate increases: “It’s no secret that rates will start rising soon, it’s just a matter of when.”

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He added that despite falling clearance rates in Sydney, a cooling period in capital city markets “won’t be dramatic”.

Looking to the near future, 100 per cent of respondents forecast the RBA will hold the official cash rate tomorrow at the record low 1.5 per cent.

Jessica Darnbrough of Mortgage Choice argued that there is “no urgent reason” for the RBA to move the cash rate: “All of the latest economic data is looking fairly positive at the moment, providing the RBA with no incentive to adjust their long-standing plan of attack."

At odds with ex-RBA member John Edward’s recent claim that the central bank will hike rates eight times in the next two years, only three of the 34 finder.com.au respondents predict two or more up-ticks in 2018.

[Related: What the 2016 census reveals about property

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