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City casts off record for mortgage arrears

SIX months after topping a table of cities with home owners behind on their repayments, Ipswich has bounced back.

Last August international ratings agency Fitch Ratings ranked the city the worst for home loan delinquencies.

The annual report looks at how many mortgage holders are more than 30 days in arrears.

Six months ago, 2.14% of all mortgages in Ipswich City were more than 30 days in arrears, up from 1.28% in March 2010.

In the latest report, that has dipped again, to just 1.36% - the largest drop in 30-day delinquency rates among all Australian regions.

The report says delinquencies in Ipswich are likely to continue falling following the Reserve Bank's decision late last year to decrease cash rates.

The report's co-author, James Zanesi, said Ipswich's increase last year was due to events including the floods and the struggling Queensland economy.

"Regions such as Ipswich are more affected by these changes and the decrease in the official cash rate", Mr Zanesi said. "It is similar to other areas outside capital cities; it is more sensitive to mortgage rate changes."

It is similar to other areas outside capital cities; it is more sensitive to mortgage rate changes.

Mayor Paul Pisasale was delighted, saying it was another sign Ipswich was throwing off the effects of the 2011 floods.

"It's great news. We just went through a bit of a rough patch," the mayor said. "This is all because of the hard work we've been doing.

"We've just turned it around to be the best in Australia."

The Fitch Ratings Mortgage Delinquency Report found Queensland remained the worst-performing state for borrowers more than 30 days behind on their mortgages.

Queensland has a 30-day delinquency rate of 1.41%, although its performance has improved slightly - it was down from 1.86% at the end of March.

Most of Australia's 10 worst-performing regions were in the Queensland.

On the other hand, Victorian home owners are still the best payers in Australia and five of the 10 best-performing regions were in Melbourne, the same number as March 2012.

Tourism centres topped the mortgage blacklist, led by the Gold Coast east.

Topics:  cash rate fitch ratings interest rate reserve bank of australia



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