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Home loan mortgage arrears rising, while rental vacancies jump

Discussion in 'Property Market Economics' started by JohnPropChat, 20th Jul, 2016.

  1. JohnPropChat

    JohnPropChat Well-Known Member

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    Source: Mortgage arrears on the rise, rental vacancies jump

    The proportion of Australian home owners falling behind on their mortgage repayments has increased, according to ratings agency Standard & Poor's.

    The global credit ratings giant said May was the seventh consecutive month where mortgage arrears had increased.

    So-called prime mortgages have an arrears rate of 1.21 per cent, up from 1.14 per cent in April and 1.07 per cent a year earlier.

    These are mortgages to borrowers with full documentation around their income, savings and assets.

    The arrears rate for "nonconforming" loans jumped from 4.25 per cent in April to 4.71 per cent in May, but remains well off a peak of 17 per cent in 2009.

    "Nonconforming" loans include those with limited documentation, so-called low-doc loans, which are often given to small business owners or contractors who have limited evidence of their earnings.

    Both measures are for those borrowers more than 30 days past due on mortgage repayments, and the figures are drawn from a pool of residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) issued by financial institutions.

    [​IMG] Photo: Mortgage arrears are rising at most financial institutions. (Standard & Poor's)
    The last time arrears rates for the major banks were as high as they are currently was around late-2011 and early-2012.

    That was when the last interest rate cycle had peaked out at an official cash rate of 4.75 per cent which prevailed between late 2010 and late 2011, before the RBA started cutting again.

    The overnight cash rate target is currently 1.75 per cent, and widely expected to fall to a fresh record low of 1.5 per cent next month.

    Rental vacancies rise nationally, jump in Perth
    At the same time as borrowers are falling behind on their mortgages, the national average rental vacancy rate for investment properties has climbed.

    The increase is modest at a national level, with vacancy rates rising from 2.4 to 2.5 per cent over the past year according to data from SQM Research.

    However, the national average masks a dramatic jump in Perth vacancies as the mining boom continues to bust.

    Perth's vacancy rate leapt from an already high 3.6 per cent last June to 5 per cent this year, a new record in SQM's data.

    The large number of vacancies has continued to see a massive fall in Perth rents, with asking rents for houses down 9.1 per cent over the past year and units slumping 10 per cent.

    "Rents are now down in that city by 23 per cent over the last three years," observed SQM's managing director Louis Christopher.

    Outside the current situation for Darwin, I don't believe rents have fallen this much for any Australian capital city since the Second World War.

    Over the past year Darwin has not been as bad as Perth, with a 2.7 per cent slide for house asking rents and 7.1 per cent for units.

    Nationally, house rents averaged zero growth, while unit asking rents rose 3.1 per cent over the past year across the capital cities, with Canberra's 10.7 per cent house rent growth and 8.6 per cent unit asking rent rises leading.

    Unsurprisingly, Canberra was the city to post the largest fall in vacancies, down 1 percentage point to just 1.2 per cent.
     
  2. C-mac

    C-mac Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the wrap up and sharing the sources. Interesting reading, I wonder if another cut in August will ease these figures down, or see them grow further.

    I guess if delinquincy continues to grow as rates continue to fall, then that won't present a happy picture for the wider australian economy.

    I always bang on about unemployment rates (and in particular, underemployment rates), so it'd be interesting to see the data you shared, mapped/correlated somehow against unemployment and under-employment metrics.

    I wonder if there would be any correlation betweem the two, and could we potentially see a causation relationship with both?
     
  3. JohnPropChat

    JohnPropChat Well-Known Member

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    The trend is a bit worrying and with ever easing credit availability and casulisation of the workforce, I suspect it'll only get worse.

    You raise an interesting point about underemployment. Don't have the data to back it up but correlation is likely but causation probably not so much. The current trend could simply be because of people stretching themselves too thin to get on to the "boom" only to realize their short term plans to extract equity/exit from the market with a healthy profit has turned.

    I think, the next year or so we'll hear more of such stories.
     
  4. sleekgeek

    sleekgeek Active Member

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    Once the rates are up in a few years it'll be a bit more difficult but, for now, happy times for most.
     
  5. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Finance broker and strategist Business Member

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    Rate cuts when they're already this low don't reduce delinquent loans, they're a consequence of delinquent loans. It doesn't matter how cheap the interest rates are, if you've extended yourself too far and the economy can't find a job for you, cheaper rates aren't going to give you money to pay the mortgage.
     
  6. 2FAST4U

    2FAST4U Well-Known Member

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    Most of the mortgage arrears rises can probably be attributed to WA and regional QLD. If the mortgage arrears were more widespread it would be concerning given how low rates are. Talking about unemployment the trend over the last few years has been that long term unemployment has been increasing.
    Long-term unemployment: Sharp rise taking a toll on Australia's wellbeing
     
  7. C-mac

    C-mac Well-Known Member

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    Another of the ABS' recent (ish - in the last 12 months or so) debacles was in regard to their methodology to measure a 'monthly' unemployment rate. The methods are coming under scrutiny due to illogically wide variances month to month. Without credibility to this data, it'll be harder to track. Even then, they are still quite hush-hush on any kind of monthly 'underemployment' stats too..
     
  8. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Wow - what other sort of business runs with an arrears problem of only 1%?

    This is not a bad news story (or how bad our economy is travelling) but should be a good news story on how profitable the money lenders are and how all of their debt is asset backed.