Rate hikes are causing anxiety for Australian mortgage holders, with new research showing seven out of 10 worry about missing repayments. As large numbers of fixed-rate mortgages expire, analysts say distressed property selling is likely to pick up from its thus-far benign levels.
After a dip in October, the inflation rate is back to a 30-year high, according to ABS statistics for November that put into doubt hopes the Reserve Bank of Australia will pause rate hikes soon.
Household wealth in September recorded its third largest quarterly decline since the Australian Bureau of Statistics began keeping records in 1989. And wealth is likely to keep falling in the coming quarters, as the lagged effects of interest rate hikes flow through.
With inflation, interest rate hikes and other economic stress weighing heavily on Australian households, key recent data show consumer sentiment approaching new lows while overall spending continues to climb.
Australians are the richest they have ever been, with wealth pushed up by rising property and shares values to a record $14.9 trillion in the March quarter of 2022, while wealth per capita surged to a record high of $574,807, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
A report by media research group the Nielsen Company following Australia-specific data collection shows there has been a significant spike in readership of business and finance news and commentary online.