Interest rates give breathing space for homeowners

The number of families facing home loan payment stress has fallen by 300,000 since the Reserve Bank of Australia’s flurry of interest rate cuts began in September.

Figures from Fujitsu show that new low-interest home loans and stimulus packages have helped to take the sting out of making monthly mortgage payments for thousands of Aussies.

However, Martin North, managing director of Fujitsu Consulting, has said that the stress holiday may be brought to an abrupt end later in the year as the number of people facing redundancy sky rockets.

"If unemployment were to rise to 7.5 per cent by December, up to one-third of the 125,000 first-time buyers who entered the market in the last 12 months could find themselves in mortgage stress," he warned.

Last month, Fujitsu also warned that Australians are being put under the kosh from hefty bank account charges.

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