Mortgage stress spreads

Over 70,000 households are already having trouble servicing their mortgage and this could rise to 120,000 if there is another rate rise. A survey of 26,000 people conducted by Fujitsu Consulting found that mortgage stress has grown and is spreading from the typical “battler” low-income fringe suburbs to middle-income suburbs such as Sydney's inner west. At the same time real estate agents are reporting that the residential property market has started to slow since the rate rise last week placing pressure on property values. Fujitsu Consulting's managing director Martin North said that with people borrowing up to 105 per cent of the value of their houses there is acute sensitivity to house price depression.