Mortgage Choice: Aussies most concerned by living costs

Australians are particularly concerned about rising living costs over the coming year, new research has found.

Mortgage Choice has released the results of its national 2010 Consumer Sentiment Survey – a poll of 1,061 Australians, 536 of whom had a mortgage.

According to the survey, which was completed during the seven days prior to the November cash rate rise, the biggest concern for next year was "other costs of living such as utility bills, clothing, etc", which was cited by 27 per cent of respondents compared to 17 per cent in 2009.

Interest rates came in second, having dropped from first place in 2009.

"Concern over utility bills and other living costs outweighed concern about interest rates," noted Mortgage Choice senior corporate affairs manager Kristy Sheppard.

"It's possible this was the case because the November cash rate rise had not yet been announced, which in turn would illustrate how much of a surprise that and subsequent lender rises were to Australians."

Consumers struggling with the recent mortgage rate hikes could choose to compare home loans in search of better options. The survey showed that four per cent of those with a mortgage believed that, based on a seven per cent interest rate, they could afford only one 0.25 percentage point rate rise before having to consider selling their property.

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