Mortgage deferrals loom large in pandemic-hit Melbourne

It wasn’t only lower-income areas – Melbourne’s leafy inner eastern Boroondara, which includes the wealthy suburbs of Hawthorn and Kew, featured in the national top 10 list of mortgage deferrals by number.

“We know Melbourne’s second lockdown will have further exacerbated the difficulties we’ve seen in our initial analysis on the available May data,” Mr James said.

Wealthier areas such as Melbourne’s inner-eastern Boroondara also had high numbers of deferred mortgages in May.  Josh Robenstone

Wyndham in Melbourne’s outer west topped the country for the number of mortgages deferred in May.

But Perth also featured too, with the outer northern local government regions of Wanneroo and Joondalup, as well as inner northern Stirling featuring on the list of most mortgages deferred. Inner city Sydney also featured on that list.

Separate analysis earlier this month by non-bank lender Firstmac showed Victoria’s professionals faced greater mortgage pressure than other workers in the pandemic-hit state, with the proportion of people such as lawyers and consultants seeking relief on their home loans doubling in August from July.

By age, people between 36 and 45 were the cohort most likely to defer mortgages in May, followed by home owners in the 26-to-35 age group, the Equifax data showed.

“There are more middle-aged people seeking mortgage payment relief than any other age group,” Mr James said.

“This group is likely to have relatively high outstanding mortgage balances and may have been harder hit with business lay-offs or lower income from JobKeeper payments.”