45 Per Cent of Surveyed Australians Struggling to Meet Mortgage Repayments, Despite Record Level Low Interest Rates

Kevin RuddALMOST 12,000 Australians who took advantage of the ALP Government’s First Home Owner’s Grant are struggling to meet their mortgage repayments.

Adviser Fujitsu Consulting says 45 per cent of the 26,000 borrowers it surveyed, who had entered the market since mid 2008, were experiencing “mortgage stress” or “severe mortgage stress”.

Mortgage stress refers to a situation where a household spends a third of their income on home loan repayments.

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RBA Lifts Cash Rate 0.25 Per Cent to 3.75 Per Cent at December 2009 Meet

Glenn StevensTHE Reserve Bank of Australia has given mortgage holders an early Christmas present, by increasing interest rates just 0.25 per cent this week.

The RBA meeting, the last one for what has been a strong year for major residential markets, will see the official cash rate increase to 3.75 per cent. The RBA meets again on February 2, 2010.

It’s the first time the RBA has increased interest rates for three consecutive months. Some analysts were speculating interest rates may increase by more than 0.25 per cent, on the back of strength in the residential sector.

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Australian House Prices Tipped to Rise in 2010: RBA

RESERVE Bank of Australia head of economic analysis Tony Richards has warned Australian house prices will rise in the next 12 months, putting pressure on housing affordability – despite imminent interest rate rises.

At a Committee For Economic Development of Australia conference yesterday, facilitated by The Australian newspaper, Dr Richards said: “It is looking increasingly clear that Australia has avoided the large falls in house prices seen in some other countries over the past two years or so.”

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