'Aussies struggle with home loan repayments'

An increasing number of Australians are finding it difficult to keep up with their home loan repayments, it has been claimed.

According to the Mortgage Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), around 16 per cent of homeowners struggled with mortgage repayments in November of last year – an increase on the previous figure of 11.7 per cent which was recorded in May.

In an statement Phil Naylor, chief executive officer of the MFAA, said: "Recent interest rate increases are negatively impacting households."

However, he added: "Confidence in the housing market is not only pre-global financial crisis – it’s back to where it was during the height of the housing boom."

His comments follow on from figures showing that house prices in Australia are rising rapidly.

In the three months to December, the average Australian home rose in value by 4.8 per cent to $525,524.

However, the Age recently reported that many small home loan lenders are returning to the market, suggesting that it could benefit from reduced prices as a result of increased competition.

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