Mortgage Stress High -- and Rising

Almost 16 per cent of the nation's first-home buyers are in severe mortgage stress and face the prospect of losing their homes within months, according to a new survey. The Australian Mortgage Stress Analysis of 26,000 households found 17.2 per cent of Tasmanians were falling behind in repayments and similar levels repeated across Australia. In the Northern Territory the figure was 17 per cent, NSW and South Australia both 16.4 per cent, Victoria and Queensland both 16 per cent, the ACT 15.2 per cent and Western Australia 14.4 per cent.

Those figures are set to escalate, with the number of suburban homes in the severe mortgage stress category expected to rise by 4,000 from 43,600 by June 30 next year. Martin North, Director of Digital Finance Analytics, which compiled the report, said rising household costs and budget mismanagement were the key precursors to mortgage stress. Half the first-home buyer households canvassed in the nationwide survey had no proper budget formulated to cope with expenses.

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