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Homeowners ‘more confident than ever’ with finances

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A survey has found that more Australians are growing confident about their finances as the housing market flourishes, particularly homeowners who have paid off their mortgages and tradies.
 
Thanks to the record-high property values, the confidence of those who own their homes outright has jumped by over 15% in Q4 of 2014.
 
The quarterly household financial conditions report by St George/Melbourne Institute said the figure was the biggest rise since they started conducting the survey 20 years ago.
 
Australians who are still paying their mortgages also expressed increased desire to cut back their debts amid low interest rates.
 
"It is indicating that consumers are still a bit cautious about spending and also about risk taking," St George senior economist Janu Chan said.
 
"But while it does seem like there is still some that need to pay off debt, there is still some risk taking out there and it's possible that because interest rates are low, households are using this opportunity to reduce their debt levels."
 
Meanwhile, the survey stated that conditions for tradespeople also went up to over 21%. This skyrocketing increase is attributed mostly to better job prospects due to the housing construction boom. 

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