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Two Melbourne suburbs suffer from high mortgage delinquency

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While most residents in the state of Victoria are keeping in step with their home loan payments, two suburbs on Melbourne's fringes have been declared to be among the worst postcodes in Australia in terms of mortgage delinquency.

According to Moody's Investor Service Australia Residential Mortgage Delinquency Map, the delinquency rates in the suburbs of Burnside and Craigieburn rose by 0.76 and 0.77 per cent, respectively, from November 2014 to November 2015. They join the ranks of postcodes in Queensland and Western Australia—the two states hardest hit by the slowdown of Australia's resource sector—as having the highest mortgage delinquency rates in the country.

Census data showed that those living in the said suburbs were mostly young families that spend a high proportion of their income on mortgages and rent. Hence, they are more susceptible to economic issues, especially rising interest rates.

"Often people living on the fringe are much more vulnerable in terms of employment opportunities, with more people in part-time and casualised employment," said Pat O'Neill, senior advisor at Brotherhood of St Laurence. "The picture is that they are living perilously close to the edge and just weeks away from potential disaster."

Indeed, the people in Craigieburn and the entire Hume region had struggled with mortgage stress for quite some time. The closing of the Broadmeadows Ford car manufacturing plant had a huge impact in their source of income, as well as the number of people in casual jobs and the overcommitment to mortgages in a low-interest rate environment.

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