Three out of four mortgage holders are taking advantage of lower interest rates to pay off their mortgages faster, rather than instructing their bank to reduce their repayments so they can pocket the saving, according to a survey released today.
When asked by the Australian National Retailers Association if their monthly repayments had changed because of the recent interest rate cuts, 74 per cent of those surveyed said there had been no change.
Of the remaining quarter who had instructed their bank to cut repayments, about half were using the money to pay off other debts such as credit cards. Only 3 per cent said they had reduced payments to spend money on discretionary items.
"Even those mortgage holders who are taking advantage of lower interest rates by reducing their payments are being cautious, using that spare cash to retire debt or help with living expenses," the association's chief executive, Margy Osmond, said, tipping a spending "coma" in February and March.
Other surveys released yesterday show a record decline in household wealth and declining consumer confidence.
A survey by Westpac and the Melbourne Institute taken at the weekend found confidence fell 2.2 per cent, after the 7.5 per cent spike in December.
A CommSec analysis of separate Bureau of Statistics figures found total wealth held in property, shares and other assets fell 10 per cent in real terms over the past year. Average wealth has declined $19,000 to $231,000, although this is still double what it was a decade ago.
Source From SMH
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