The Debt Bomb myth exploded

The latest housing market scare campaign focuses on questionable analysis of household debt levels.

Sharp declines in mortgage rates since 2011 have predictably activated housing markets with prices rising.

Higher prices reflect higher mortgages with borrowers taking on more debt as prices rise and enabled by lower mortgage rates allowing purchasers to borrow more with a given income

House Debt Australia


Although debt has risen with houses prices, the proportion of household income required to service higher debt has fallen over recent years despite low incomes growth and low real wages.

Despite this, current scaremongering speculates on the impact of higher interest rates on households paying a higher proportion of mortgage repayments from incomes. 

Notwithstanding the remote chance of Big Banks lifting rates significantly in the near-term, the impact of higher rates would be marginal relative to the number of households affected.

Census data reveals the proportion of households paying more than 30% of income in mortgage repayments fell below 3% in most capitals and in all capitals is well down on the previous Census.

And since the last Census, wages are up 4.1% and mortgage rates are down 0.5% with house price growth dissipating.

Enough said.

Mortgage Repayments


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Dr. Andrew Wilson


Dr Andrew Wilson, Chief Economist of is widely regarded as Australia’s leading property economist.

'The Debt Bomb myth exploded' have 3 comments


    July 30, 2018 Dan Manager

    Being “ahead” on payments may be part of the problem. People in other countries pay off the capital and then live debt free. Also, I’m sure Martin North’s research shows that balances are being drawn down by the million or so households under mortgage stress. I suppose you can always look for silver linings if you have an interest in continued high prices, but they’re probably not there. You might find a bronze one at best.



    July 24, 2018 AndrewButterworth

    It is good to see an alternative view to doom and gloom. Recently Andrew Thorburn NAB CEO told a company presentation at work that a substantial number of home borrowers were ahead of scheduled repayments. Commentators dont mention this fact.


      Michael Yardney

      July 24, 2018 Michael Yardney

      Andrew you’re right – many home owners have kept up their mortgage payments as rates dropped, so they’re way ahead in their payments


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