Among Australian states, Queensland has the most number of mortgage defaults, a report by Fitch Ratings released on Wednesday said.
The state of Queensland has given a conditional stamp of approval to a proposed $1.4 billion resort tourism and residential development project at Ella Bay near Innisfail, south of Cairns.
James Zanesia, director of Fitch, said over half of delinquent housing loans on the Gold Coast were overdue for more than 90 days. The 90-day benchmark is the red flag for lenders, not 30 days which is not necessarily an indicator of homeowner default.
He disclosed that the bulk of the homes with default are mostly in the southeast with two of the 20 worst performing postcodes in Australia located there, namely Helensvale and Surfers Paradise. Mr Zanesi added the 19 out of 1,000 borrowers in the Gold Coast, Ipswich and Logan were in arrears since March 2012, up from 17 in September 2011.
Besides Queensland, also high on the list is New South Wales. One common factor of high delinquency rates in these areas is that those at default are mostly tourism hotspots and coastal areas, indicating weakness in the holiday home market.
In Sydney, Nelson Bay topped the list at 7.8 per cent of loans by value. Other areas with high rates of delinquencies are Hoxton Park and Green Valley.
Analysts explain the trend to strain on the local economy due to the high Australian dollar which leads local to take their holidays overseas instead of in the country's coastal areas. Another explanation is the deferment of Baby Boomers from retirement, many of whom had earlier plans to spend their golden years at Gold Coast, but deferred their plans due to the halving of their shares and retirement savings.
Majority of those in arrears are investors, not owner-occupiers.
"A large number of the houses in those areas are investment homes or second homes. When house prices are going down you might have a borrower who is trying to hold onto a home because they don't want to make a loss," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Mr Zanesi.
Other areas in the 20-worst performing list are Crestmead, Marsden, Waterford, Carbrook and Cornubia.
On the opposite end, Mr Zanesi disclosed that Victoria has a lower level of mortgage delinquency compared to other big Australian states.
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