Hervey Bay in top 20 mortgage woes

LIFE’S a beach, or so the old adage goes – but it seems not so in Hervey Bay.

A new report just out puts Hervey Bay in the top 20 of the state’s home owners unable to keep up with their mortgage repayments.

About 1.8 per cent of the sea change residents are 30 days behind on their payments, with most defaults in excess of 90 days.

Top of the list goes to Palm Cove in Queensland’s far north, followed by Helensvale, Mudgeeraba and Kawana Waters.

Of the 20 listed by postcode, all but eight are on or near the sea.

The research is released each year by Fitch Ratings, highlighting late mortgage payments, listed by postcodes around the state.

According to Fitch Ratings’ Natasha Vojvodic, the report analyses the performance of the local residential mortgage market using data from about 730,000 loans outstanding at September 30, 2009, and ranks the performance of regions and postcodes to assess the true impact of recent changes in the mortgage market.

Fitch Ratings expected the rate of defaults across the country to increase as households dealt with Christmas costs and an expected rise in unemployment.

Peta Short of Mortgage Choice in Hervey Bay said Hervey Bay was traditionally a city with lots of casual jobs.

“With the global downturn hours might well have been cut in those jobs.

“The other is, the investor’s portfolio has been tightened.”

Ms Short believes many people have been spending on consumerables with credit cards – stretching their budgets.

“Home owners with a mortgage, consider a health check. They should look at: cheaper loans; extending their loans; recalculating loans; or consolidating their debt and ridding themselves of the higher interest on credit cards.”

She stressed that people needed to live within a budget.

“Three quarters of Australian investors are holding off until January 1 when the home owner boost is cut back to $7000 from $10,500 for an existing dwelling.”

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