More Fraser Coast residents are defaulting on their mortgage payments.
More Fraser Coast residents are defaulting on their mortgage payments. Andy Dean

Harder times hit Coast

THE hard times have hit home for more Fraser Coast families, with twice as many people defaulting on their mortgages in the past quarter as in 2009.

According to the latest Fitch Ratings report on mortgage delinquency, 2.03% of Hervey Bay households were behind on mortgage repayments by the end of March 2011.

In September 2009, only 0.95% of Hervey Bay households were late with payments by 30 days or more, but the figure has steadily increased in the past 18 months.

The amount of money owing placed Hervey Bay in the top 10 postcodes for “worst offenders” in the state.

Maryborough families are also suffering from mortgage stress, with 1.51% of mortgages more than a month behind – and the Wide Bay-Burnett region is listed as one of the worst-affected regions in the entire country.

The report found Queensland was the worst-performing state, which could be partly due to the economic impact of the floods.

“Borrowers who have been directly or indirectly affected by the flooding were expected to experience some financial distress in terms of property damage, increased living expenses and potential loss of income,” the Australian Mortgage Delinquency by Postcode March 2011 said.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss said the survey demonstrated that rising cost of living pressures were taking their toll on households in Wide Bay.

“Since Labor was elected, national electricity prices have increased by 51%; water prices are up by 14%; grocery prices have risen by 14%; education and health costs have climbed by 20%; and council rates have gone up by 12%,” Mr Truss said.

“These price rises have a direct impact on families who are struggling to pay the mortgage and put food on the table.

Labor's planned carbon and mining taxes will only make things tougher for them.”

Mr Truss said the government could help ease mortgage stress by controlling its spending, cutting taxes and strengthening the regional economy to secure local jobs.



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