05 June 2013 Most homeowners rate financial situation 'solid'

Nearly 85% of homeowners feel positive about their current financial situation, describing it as either solid (23%) or reasonable (61%), according to the 2013 Homeowner Intentions Survey of over 1,000 Australian mortgage holders, conducted by Mortgage Choice.

Notwithstanding the fact that the current low interest rate environment has translated into significantly lower mortgage repayments for most home loan borrowers, the findings are still a welcome indication that most homeowners are feeling optimistic about their ability to manage their finances.

The results of the survey show that while the majority of homeowners feel positive about their financial position, their most pressing financial concern or commitment at present is ‘repaying my mortgage’, at 37% of respondents. This was followed by the ‘cost of living’ (25%) and ‘repaying credit card debt’ (16%) to make up the top three responses.

Head of Corporate Affairs at Mortgage Choice, Belinda Williamson said, “The fact that over one third of homeowners may see their mortgage repayments at the top of their financial priority list is a really encouraging sign. Because let’s face it, for many Australians, taking out a mortgage is often the biggest financial decision they will make, so it is sensible to take that commitment seriously.”

The survey also found that the majority of homeowners (77%) were making additional repayments towards their mortgage.

The most common habit to making extra repayments was contributing as much as they can to each repayment but redrawing funds if necessary. This was followed by contributing as much as they can to each repayment and avoiding any temptation to redraw the funds and making up the top three habits was rounding their repayments up to the nearest hundred.

Ms Williamson said, “If your investment strategy or overall goal is to repay your home loan then making extra payments is a great habit to get into. It will help you to repay the home loan sooner and to build up a buffer to cope with future interest rate rises or changes to your financial situation.”

“It was interesting to see that of those people who were making additional mortgage repayments, over 50% said they had not made any lifestyle sacrifices to do so. When asked whether they would continue to make additional repayments if interest rates go up, nearly 45% said they would as they had already factored in higher repayments.

“With so many respondents finding extra mortgage payments manageable without lifestyle changes, imagine what could be achieved by making some small sacrifices and contributing as much and as often to your loan as you possibly can. Even small, regular extra repayments can make a significant difference. The sky’s the limit!”

Source: Mortgage Choice Most homeowners rate their financial situation as 'solid' or 'reasonable'  28 May 2013

Attention: This article is intended to provide general information only. Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the date of publication. The opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of DHA, its staff or agents. Property prices are subject to fluctuation. Prospective investors should seek independent advice. DHA will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expenses incurred or arising by reason of any person relying on information in this article.