Home loan stress eases on back of cash handout

Home loan stress being felt by average Australians has fallen in April, the latest poll from Fujitsu has found.

The number of people said to be in mortgage stress has fallen to 568,000 this month, down from a peak of some 900,000 in August 2008, when interest rates stood at 7.25 per cent.

And although those who locked themselves into a fixed-rate home loan in the months before the Reserve Bank rate cut bonanza began may still be feeling the pinch, Martin North, managing director of Fujitsu Consulting, said that many people had been helped out by lower interest rates and the cash bonus.

However, he warned: "Unfortunately the stimulus packages will not stop more households from slipping into stress later in the year, as unemployment continues to bite."

Mr North predicted that if unemployment hits 7.5 per cent in December, the number of households feeling some degree of home loan stress could exceed 1.2 million.

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