Bloomberg News

Australian Home Loan Arrears Fall for Second Quarter, Fitch Says

December 13, 2011

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Australian home loan delinquencies fell for a second quarter as a strong jobs market boosted households’ ability to repay mortgages, Fitch Ratings said.

The number of homeowners behind on mortgage payments by more than 30 days dropped by 17 basis points to 1.52 percent in the third quarter, according to the London-based ratings firm’s Australian residential mortgage performance index.

“The unemployment rate was 5.3 percent as at November 2011, the economy is strong and the recent rate cuts passed on to borrowers will likely offset some of the increased Christmas and holiday season pressure anticipated,” Courtney Miller, an analyst at Fitch, wrote in the statement. “Softening house prices could impact future 90-plus days delinquencies.”

The number of “low-doc” loans more than 30 days late declined to 6.4 percent in the third quarter from 6.6 percent in the previous three months.

--Editors: Malcolm Scott, Iain Wilson

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at nsaminather1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah McDonald at smcdonald23@bloomberg.net


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