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Majority of Australians consider their home loan to be a burden

Monday, 15 January 2018 14:41


Sydney, 16 January 2018: Owning property has always been considered the Great Australian Dream, but according to new research from Gateway Bank (Gateway), owning a home doesn’t necessarily guarantee happiness.

Gateway’s Mortgage Holders Sentiment Report 2017, reveals more than half of respondents (56 per cent), who are currently paying off a mortgage or have paid off a mortgage, stated their home loan is/was a burden, which somewhat limited their lifestyle. This compares to 44 per cent who indicated their home loan is/was a benefit and somewhat assisted their lifestyle.

Speaking on the results, Gateway CEO, Paul Thomas, believes it could be indicative of a broader problem.

“We know Australians are heavily indebted, the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that around three-in-ten households (29 per cent) were classified as ‘over-indebted’[1]. In fact, the ABS research also revealed owners with a mortgage were the most likely households to be over-indebted (47 per cent)1.

“It would seem Australians still want to achieve the dream of owning their own property, even at the expense of financial stress. As a result, their home loan becomes a pain-point rather than an advantage,” said Mr Thomas.

The research report went on to highlight that Australians are more likely to feel their home loan is a burden today, compared to two years ago. In 2015, 45 per cent of mortgage holders stated their home loan was at least somewhat of a benefit. By 2017, the proportion of Australians with this attitude decreased to 40 per cent*.

“We know times have become tougher over the past few years. CoreLogic recently reported property price growth across all capital cities is at a seven-year high (12.9 per cent)[2]. Not to mention, wages growth remains stuck at a record low, sitting under 2 per cent. All these factors seem to be contributing to our dissatisfaction when it comes to the cost of home ownership,” said Mr Thomas.

Across the most populated states, home owners in VIC (59 per cent) and NSW (56 per cent) are more likely to consider their home loan to be a burden compared to those in QLD (47 per cent).

“Owning a home should provide a sense of achievement and pride. However, it’s not surprising to find that many view paying off their home as an incumbrance. It’s one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in life, so borrowers need to do their due diligence before buying a property. There are many advantages to owning your own home and while a mortgage is considered ‘good’ debt, borrowers need to make sure they’re not over-stretching themselves and taking on more than they can handle,” concluded Mr Thomas.


About the research

The Gateway Bank Mortgage Holder Sentiment Report 2017 is the collation of data gained through a quantitative survey conducted through an online panel. The survey was in field from 12th September to 18th September 2017, obtaining 1,030 completes. The survey sample was nationally representative of Australians over the age of 18 across age, gender and states in Australia.

* Longitudinal analysis:

This report compares the latest 2017 results with the previously commissioned 2015 Mortgage Holder Sentiment Report. The 2015 survey was in field between 9th October 2015 to 13th October 2015 and deployed to respondents who identified as currently paying off their home loan (n=355).

Results from the 2017 omnibus study have been filtered by this criteria to provide accurate longitudinal comparisons across a comparable sample of mortgage holders. When this filter is applied, the 2017 sample size for mortgage holders is n=326.