Finance advice

Owner-occupiers feeling mortgage stress, while investors are "very healthy"

By Sasha Karen
Property owners, mortgage stress, property investors, mortgage stress in investing

According to a new report, the majority of Australians are feeling the weight of their mortgage, yet one expert claims to include investors in this category would be “jumping the shark a little bit”.

The third annual Know Your Numbers Index released by Ubank shows Australians are simply paying too much, which is causing headaches when it comes to paying off mortgages.

“The Know Your Numbers Index found that 86 per cent of Australians are unaware of monthly expenses, which can cause financial problems over time,” said Lee Hatton, CEO of UBank.

Despite Ms Hatton saying further that budgets can assist in minimising stress from knowing how much is spent in any given month, the majority of Australians are feeling stressed about their finances at 59 per cent.

“With so many numbers to monitor and keep track of, it’s no surprise people are feeling overwhelmed, even when it comes to simple financial tasks like budgeting” Ms Hatton said.

The percentage of Australians who know their home loan rate is improving slightly at 82 per cent, down from 85 per cent.

“While there was a slight improvement on last year, there are still too many Aussies out there who don’t know their mortgage rate,” said Ms Hatton.

However, Jason Back, managing director of The Australian Lending & Investment Centre, claims this stress is nowhere near investors.

Property investors aren’t stressed at the moment. You’ve got to remember that obviously the way the gearing model currently sits, and obviously with income coming into those properties,” Mr Back said.

Investors are actually a very healthy part of the banking book. I think I might find that it’s easy to talk about that sort of stress, but the stress [is] not really coming at this stage because we haven’t really seen interest rate movements, and the stress is really going to come from first home buyers.

I think we’re jumping the shark a little bit at this stage before we start calling out mortgage stress.”

However, Mr Back warned not all investors are equal, with those investing in apartments more likely to be facing potential stress.

You have to really delineate between housing and apartments. If I had to say yes, there’s going to be some mortgage stress for investors, you’re probably looking down those that are exposed to high debts of the apartment style purchases and off the plan sort of stuff,” he said. 

I think you might find that they’d be impacted first, and you’ll see those in places like Brisbane, Melbourne, and to lesser degree Sydney.”


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Owner-occupiers feeling mortgage stress, while investors are "very healthy"
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