World Economy

Aussies Struggling With Home Loans

Aussies Struggling With Home LoansAussies Struggling With Home Loans

Mortgage repayments have become a huge struggle for a significant chunk of Australians and most believe the dream of home ownership will be out of reach for future generations, a poll shows.

As the federal government prepares to unveil housing affordability measures in Tuesday’s budget, an Australian National University survey shows that one fifth of people are struggling to meet mortgage or rent payments, with 2% having fallen behind, AAP reported.

Nearly a quarter said they would be in quite a bit or a lot of difficulty if interest rates jump by two percentage points, while nearly 90% are concerned that future generations won’t be able to afford to buy a house.

Significantly, almost half were willing to see their property values stop increasing even further to help improve affordability.

ANU Associate Professor Ben Phillips said the findings suggest Australians are willing to support government measures that would allow more homes to be built, as well as scrapping incentives such as negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.

“This may suggest that the issue of housing affordability is acute enough that Australians may accept policy change that could reduce prices or the rate of price growth to allow more equitable access to the housing market,” he said on Sunday.

The government had flagged that it will use the budget to announce new measures to improve housing affordability, but has recently been playing down expectations about their significance.

It has suggested establishing a “bond aggregator” to help attract greater private sector investment into affordable community housing, as well as introducing possible incentives to encourage older people to downsize in order to free-up family homes.

Economists argue that tighter lending standards, rising interest rates and an increase in housing supply make a federal budget package on housing unnecessary.

In the year to April, house prices soared 17% in Sydney and Melbourne and by 12% across all capital cities. However wages rose by just 2%.

The ANU poll found that 85% of the 2,513 Australians surveyed in March expect housing prices to rise in the next five years. More than a quarter have already reduced their spending on luxuries to meet home loan repayments or rent, and nearly a fifth have cut back on essentials.

Some have started working longer hours or returned to the workforce to help stump up the cash they need to pay for their home loans or rent, while others have taken on a second job, sold assets or delayed having kids or getting married. Of those surveyed, 17% either owned an investment property themselves or had a partner who did.

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