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Local News

Over 1.57 million Australians are now ‘At Risk’ of ‘mortgage stress’ representing 30.3% of mortgage holders

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New research from Roy Morgan shows a record high 1,573,000 mortgage holders (30.3%) were ‘At Risk’ of ‘mortgage stress’ in the three months to September 2023.

Over 1.57 million Australians are now ‘At Risk’ of ‘mortgage stress’ representing 30.3% of mortgage holders

 

New research from Roy Morgan shows a record high 1,573,000 mortgage holders (30.3%) were ‘At Risk’ of ‘mortgage stress’ in the three months to September 2023. This period encompassed three RBA meetings at which interest rates were left unchanged.

The figures for September represent a new record high, up 7,000 on a month ago.

Over 760,000 more households at risk of mortgage stress after a year of interest rate increases

The number of Australians ‘At Risk’ of mortgage stress has increased by 766,000 since May 2022 when the RBA began a cycle of interest rate increases. Official interest rates are now at 4.1% in October 2023, the highest official interest rates since May 2012, over a decade ago.

The number of Australians ‘At Risk’ of mortgage stress (1,573,000) is at a record high. The proportion of mortgage holders at 30.3% remains below the record highs reached during the Global Financial Crisis of 15 years ago because of the larger size of the Australian mortgage market today. The record high of 35.6% of mortgage holders in mortgage stress was reached in mid-2008.

The number of mortgage holders considered ‘Extremely At Risk’, is now numbered at 1,043,000 (20.5%) which is now significantly above the long-term average over the last 15 years of 15.3%.

Mortgage Stress – Owner-Occupied Mortgage-Holders

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), average interviews per 3 month period April 2007 – September 2023, n=2,759.

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), average interviews per 3 month period April 2007 – September 2023, n=2,759.
Base: Australians 14+ with owner occupied home loan.

Mortgages ‘At Risk’ set to increase to over 1.58 million if RBA raises rates by +0.25% in November

Roy Morgan has modelled the impact of two potential RBA interest rate increases of +0.25% in both November (+0.25% to 4.35%) and December (+0.25% to 4.6%).

In September, 30.3% of mortgage holders, 1,573,000, were considered ‘At Risk’ and this would increase to 30.4% of mortgage holders by November 2023 if the RBA increases interest rates next week.

If the RBA raises interest rates by +0.25% in November to 4.35%, there will be 30.4% (up 0.1% points) of mortgage holders, 1,581,000, considered ‘At Risk’ in November 2023 – an increase of 8,000.

If the RBA raises interest rates by a further +0.25% in December to 4.6%, there will be 31.0% (up 0.7% points) of mortgage holders, 1,612,000, considered ‘At Risk’ in December 2023 – an increase of 39,000.

Mortgage Risk at different level of interest rate increases in November & December 2023

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July – September 2023, n=3,836. Base: Australians 14+ with owner occupied home loan.

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July – September 2023, n=3,836. Base: Australians 14+ with owner occupied home loan.

How are mortgage holders considered ‘At Risk’ or ‘Extremely At Risk’ determined?

Roy Morgan considers the risk of ‘mortgage stress’ among Mortgage holders in two ways:

Mortgage holders are considered ‘At Risk’ if their mortgage repayments are greater than a certain percentage of household income – depending on income and spending.

Mortgage holders are considered ‘Extremely at Risk’ if even the ‘interest only’ is over a certain proportion of household income.

Unemployment is the key factor which has the largest impact on income and mortgage stress

It is worth understanding that this is a conservative model, essentially assuming all other factors remain the same. The latest Roy Morgan unemployment estimates for September show almost one-in-five Australian workers are either unemployed or under-employed – 2,893,000 (18.9% of the workforce); (‘Real’ unemployment drops to 10.2% in September – now 2.9 million are unemployed (1.6 million) or under-employed (1.3 million)) – an increase of 129,000 (+0.3% points) on a year ago.

While all eyes are on interest rates the greatest impact on an individual, or household’s, ability to pay their mortgage is not interest rates, it’s if they lose their job or main source of income.

New research from Roy Morgan shows a record high 1,573,000 mortgage holders (30.3%) were ‘At Risk’ of ‘mortgage stress’ in the three months to September 2023.

New research from Roy Morgan shows a record high 1,573,000 mortgage holders (30.3%) were ‘At Risk’ of ‘mortgage stress’ in the three months to September 2023.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says mortgage stress increased to a new record high in September with 1,573,000 mortgage holders considered ‘At Risk’ of mortgage stress as the RBA’s series of 12 interest rate increases continue to flow through to the wider mortgage market:

“The latest Roy Morgan data shows mortgage stress in the Australian housing market has increased to a new record high of 1,573,000 mortgage holders defined as ‘At Risk’ in September 2023. This represents a substantial increase of 766,000 mortgage holders since the RBA began a record-breaking series of interest rate increases nearly eighteen months ago in May 2022.

“The figures for September 2023 take into account all twelve RBA interest rate increases which lifted official interest rates from 0.1% in May last year to 4.1% by June 2023. Since then, the RBA has decided to leave interest rates unchanged at its last four meetings.

“The RBA’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged in recent months came as inflation decreased compared to earlier this year. However, in recent months inflation has ‘reaccelerated’ and moved upwards. The latest ABS CPI monthly figures for the year to September 2023 show Australian inflation at 5.6%, up 0.4% points from August and up 0.7% points over the last two months.

“This is the first time official inflation has increased for two straight months so far this year – the last time was at the cyclical peak in December 2022 at 8.4%. The increases to inflation are not surprising though considering the increase in energy and fuel prices in recent months.

“The average retail petrol price has averaged above $1.90 per litre for a record 12 straight weeks since early August – beating a previous record run at such a high price in May-July 2022. During mid-2022 Inflation Expectations increased rapidly from 5.3% to 5.9% – up 0.6% points. The latest weekly Inflation Expectations data for mid-October shows the measure at 5.2% for the week to October 29 – up 0.3% points since mid-September and averaging 5.3% over the last four weeks.

“The increases to petrol prices are being driven by a decline in the value of the Australian Dollar which dropped below 63 US cents in mid-October to its lowest since November 2022. As long as the Australian Dollar stays low, and petrol prices stay high and even increase further, there will be additional inflationary pressures in the economy.

“These pressures are adding to calls for the RBA to raise interest rates again and are a key factor for why we have modelled two further interest rate increases. If the RBA does raise interest rates next week by 0.25%, Roy Morgan forecasts mortgage stress is set to increase to over 1.58 million mortgage holders (30.4%) considered ‘At Risk’.

“Of even more concern is the rise in mortgage holders considered ‘Extremely At Risk’, now estimated at 1,043,000 in September 2023. This figure has more than doubled since the RBA began raising interest rates, representing an increase of over 560,000 mortgage holders.

“When considering the data on mortgage stress, it is always important to appreciate interest rates are only one of the variables that determines whether a mortgage holder is considered ‘At Risk’. The variable that has the largest impact on whether a borrower falls into the ‘At Risk’ category is related to household income – which is directly related to employment.

“The latest figures on mortgage stress show that rising interest rates are causing a large increase in the number of mortgage holders considered ‘At Risk’ and further increases will spike these numbers even further. If there is a sharp rise in unemployment, mortgage stress is set to increase even more.”

These are the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s Single Source Survey, based on in-depth interviews conducted with over 60,000 Australians each year including over 10,000 owner-occupied mortgage-holders.

 

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Local News

Two additional men charged over alleged conspiracy to murder plot – Strike Force Barralier

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Two additional men charged over alleged conspiracy to murder plot – Strike Force Barralier

 

Organised Crime Squad detectives have charged an additional two men over an alleged murder plot under Strike Force Barralier.

Strike Force Barralier was established in December 2023 by State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad to investigate an alleged conspiracy to murder a man residing in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Investigations identified a group of men as allegedly being involved in a plot to murder the 30-year-old.

Three have already been charged and remain before the courts.

Following further inquiries, about 10am today (Tuesday 9 April 2024), strike force detectives travelled to Coffs Harbour Police Station where two men – aged 27 and 29 – were transferred from a correctional centre in Clarence.

The younger man was charged with conspire and agree to murder any person, and knowingly/recklessly direct criminal group assist crime.

The older man was charged with conspire and agreed to murder any person and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.

Both men were refused bail to appear in Coffs Harbour Local Court today.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or visit here. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

 

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Coffs Harbour

F-35A LIGHTNING II AIRCRAFT TO FAREWELL COFFS HARBOUR AIRPORT AFTER COMPLETING REPAIRS

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F-35A LIGHTNING II AIRCRAFT

F-35A LIGHTNING II AIRCRAFT TO FAREWELL COFFS HARBOUR AIRPORT AFTER COMPLETING REPAIRS

 

A Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft will return to RAAF Base Williamtown following a short stay at Coffs Harbour Airport whilst undergoing repairs following a diversion.

The aircraft was participating in a Royal Australian Air Force training activity over the ocean off the NSW coast when it diverted to Coffs Harbour airport following an in-flight technical issue.

RAAF technicians have conducted repair works at the airport to ensure the aircraft was serviceable as soon as possible.

Residents are advised that an engine-run will be conducted at 2pm prior to the aircraft’s departure to ensure it is safe to return home to RAAF Base Williamtown.

Elevated noise levels will be associated with the engine-run activity, which is required prior to confirming the aircraft’s readiness for departure.

Strict security protocols are in place to safeguard the F-35A Lightning II aircraft whilst undergoing repairs.

The Royal Australian Air Force would like to thank Coffs Harbour Airport for their hospitality, and the local community for their ongoing support.

 

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Ballina News

New Ballina youth festival – Thrillfest – announced for Youth Week

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Thrillfest

New Ballina youth festival – Thrillfest – announced for Youth Week

 

A new youth festival, Thrillfest, will be held in Ballina for the first time during Youth Week, featuring a battle-of-the-bands, skateboarding workshops, and football drills – and free buses will ferry young people to the events.

The Ballina Youth Network is organising Thrillfest, and the not-for-profit organisation Social Futures is part of that network. The festival will be held on April 16, from 11am, at Missingham Park, Ballina with the support of Rotary Ballina, Cherry Street Sports Club, Ballina Shire Council, Hartley’s Fruit Shop and Ballina Buslines.

Social Futures Children Youth and Families Manager, Kiara McBeath said the Thrillfest lineup was a testament to the diverse interests and skills of the region’s young people.

“Thrillfest festivities kick off with the Battle of the Bands, where aspiring musicians will hit the stage to compete for amazing prizes,” Ms McBeath said. “Get ready to cheer for your favourites and witness the birth of the next big thing in music.

“You can also grab a board and join a skateboarding workshop run by Truckstop Skate School. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned skater or just starting, the Truckstop experts will guide you through techniques and tricks that’ll have you owning the pavement in no time.

“And for the sports enthusiasts, join in on our lively footy drills – a chance to show off your skills and maybe even learn a few new ones.

“The day is all about celebrating young people and their immense talents – from music to skateboarding to sport. And of course, it’s all about having fun!”

There will also be interactive games, and a free BBQ lunch.

“In an effort to make Thrillfest accessible to every teen in Ballina, there will be free transport on the day,” Ms McBeath said.

“Every bus network in Ballina is supporting this event by offering free transport to Tamar Street all day long for young people,” Ms McBeath said.

“Join us for an unforgettable day of fun, friendship, and fanciful feats. Ballina’s youth are the heartbeat of our community, and Thrillfest is here to celebrate that energy and creativity.”

National Youth Week, April 11-24, is a week-long celebration of the contribution that young people make to Australia. It is a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. Each year, all over Australia, events are planned and organised to celebrate and recognise the contribution of young people.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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