Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Australian Consumers Paying Down Debt

Mortgage appetite back on the rise
Appetite for mortgages has risen for the first time in two years, unofficial data show, offering hope that home prices may lift in the months ahead.
. . .
Despite the hopeful sign on mortgage inquiries, other readings on the property market suggest that headwinds remain.
Riddle me this, if rising home prices are "wealth" why is so much debt a necessary precursor to this "wealth"? And why always the happy tone about more debt?
Official Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed that after the number of seasonally adjusted owner-occupied loans rose for nine months ending December 2011, they began to fall again in the new year, dropping by 2.5 per cent in February.
Veda said overall consumer credit dropped by 4.8 per cent in the year to March, while credit card applications sank by 8 per cent in the same period. Personal loans applications also slipped by 1.4 per cent in the year to March.
. . .
Total household debt, which peaked at 154.4 per cent of household disposable income in the middle of 2010, has slowly fallen under 150 per cent of household disposable income, he said.
This is great news. If a soft landing is ever possible, consumer balance sheets need to be as healthy as possible.
The key to a sustained upturn in Australian house prices is a recovery in confidence,” he said. “That may not occur while the news from Europe remains downbeat and local media bash the domestic economy’s weak spots.”
Blow that bubble up again. That's our only hope!

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