Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Two-Thirds Of Australians Meet Mortgage Payments By Staying Home

A new survey claims that two-thirds of Australian households in our capital cities are "coping easily" with rising mortgage payments. How? By cutting back on spending and toning down their lifestyles (excerpts) :

"Even though people in country areas said they are struggling more, the statistics also show that people living in capital cities are more likely to be paying a greater percentage of their take-home household income on their mortgage repayments," MFAA CEO Phil Naylor said.

On a national level, while most survey respondents across Australia said they were easily meeting their loan obligations, around 31 per cent are struggling to meet repayments.

Of these, 0.5 per cent of respondents were one to three months behind on payments, representing just 27,000 loans out of a possible 5.5 million across the country.

...this showed the majority of Australians had been able to make lifestyle adjustments to help them make ends meet.

"They are eating out less, reducing costs at home, taking their lunch to work and buying food from bulk or lower cost outlets.

"These are all sensible adjustments in response to increases in interest rates to ensure they manage their repayments."

Some good news in there, but still, hard-working Australians left with less disposable income are also left with fewer choices to get out and enjoy themselves, to shake off the hassles and stress of the working week. For too many people, choosing to own the home they live in has become a lifestyle-slackening burden. You may be living the Australian dream by owning your own home, but at what cost to the rest of your life? Should going out to dinner once a week, or once a fortnight, or catching a movie with the family, really be seen as far too expensive luxuries?

UPDATE : The news is not so good for those with property investments. This story claims that one in two property investors will suffer hard if interest rates rise another 1%.