Business, Finance & Economics

Australia's own mortgage worries

Interest rates have gone up again, homeowners will face extra repayments. There have now been a dozen rate hikes in the last six years. The pain of higher interest rates is felt keenly in Sydney's blue collar suburbs, and bankers are reporting record rates of bankruptcies. There are fears the latest rate hike will put many families over the edge. Some Australians are seeing their hope of buying a home slip away as the cost of mortgages become more expensive. It's estimated that 300,000 Australians risk losing their homes if interest rates continue to rise. Many more are suffering from mortgage stress, where 30% or salaries or more are spent on interest loans. In recent years credit has been readily available as part of a booming economy. There are similarities to the housing market in the US, but unlike Americans, Australians are still spending and inflation is still rising. In response, the central bank has increased interest rates to cool the economy down.

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