subscribe to our newsletter

Research reveals hotspots for mortgage stress

Consumer group CHOICE has released regional data on borrowers under financial stress, with Western Sydney and West Melbourne ranking among the top spots.

The analysis by Martin North at Digital Finance Analytics and commissioned by CHOICE has marked more than 100,000 households in the top 10 suburbs in distress across NSW and Victoria.

In NSW, the number of households under distress in the top 10 suburbs totalled 63,502, while there were 70,526 in Victoria.

Nationally, the top 10 areas for mortgage stress were found to cover capital city and regional areas in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

CHOICE chief executive Alan Kirkland defined the mortgage stress label as covering residents who are spending more than they are earning.


“That means that they have to make difficult choices, like whether to put food on the table or keep up with repayments. If they can’t maintain the juggling act, they risk losing their homes,” Mr Kirkland said.

Nationally, the highest-ranked area matched the postcode 2560, around the Campbelltown region in south-west Sydney, totalling 10,578 households. Following was 2170, including Casula, Liverpool and Warwick Farm in Western Sydney, with 10,002 households and 6065 in Perth, with 9,885 households.

The fourth postcode on the list was 4350, covering 9,693 households in suburbs across Queensland city Toowoomba followed by 3805 in Melbourne, with 8,919 households in stress around Fountain Gate and Narre Warren.

CHOICE is using the data as part of a push against the federal government’s plans to repeal the responsible lending laws.

Around 39,000 consumers and 125 organisations have signed an open letter organised by CHOICE, calling on politicians to retain the responsible lending obligations.


“Safe lending laws were put in place to avoid the huge damage to families and communities caused by mortgage stress – by making banks take care to avoid giving people loans they won’t be able to afford to repay,” Mr Kirkland said.

“If the government gets away with its plan to axe safe lending laws people who are desperate to get into a rising housing market will be at risk of overexposure and people who need to refinance won’t be adequately protected.”

Find out more about the top property and home buying trends in your local area at the Better Business Summit 2021. Places are limited so make sure you secure your place at the five-state event asap!

[Related: Westpac launches savings buffer for distressed borrowers]

Research reveals hotspots for mortgage stress
Research reveals hotspots for mortgage stress

If you’re feeling overworked and overwhelmed in this fast-paced mortgage market, it’s time to make some changes, and the Business Accelerator Program can help! Early bird tickets are on sale now. Work smarter, not harder, this year.

Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins is the news editor across Mortgage Business and The Adviser. 

Previously, she reported on banking, financial services and wealth for InvestorDaily and ifa.

You can contact her on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Latest News

The prudential regulator has written to ADIs to ensure that they are proactively managing lending risks and focusing on lending standards am...

As it waits for APRA to approve its acquisition of MyLife MyFinance, Challenger has flagged plans to expand the bank’s lending remit to co...

Australia has the second-highest mortgage debt as a proportion of GDP among OECD nations, according to a new report. ...

How long do you think it should take to discharge a mortgage?

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.