Job security is a major source of anxiety for many Australian mortgage holders, with new research showing that 41% of families fear they might not be able to service their home loans if their employment situation changed, according to a new study by ALI Group.
ALI Group, which provides loan and mortgage protection to Australian home and property buyers, polled 1,000 people to identify their main mortgage concerns. Tellingly, 36% of mortgage holders said employment stability caused them sleepless nights.
Single workers with kids experienced greater anxiety than nuclear families, with nearly half (43%) of single workers expressing fear over their job security. For childless couples, this number drops to 34%, and single people with no children were among the least troubled, with just 14% identifying job security as a worry.
Australia’s unemployment rate is currently 5.7%, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. However, potential economic headwinds and the recent global financial crisis have taught Australians not to be too comfortable with the status quo, said Huy Truong, chief executive officer of ALI Group.
ALI Group’s survey also found that 50% of respondents feared being made redundant on at least one occasion, while 37% believed it would take more than three months to find a new job at their current level of skill and seniority.
“These findings come as Australia experiences continued structural changes in the economy, including job losses in low-tech manufacturing, automotive and mining industries,” Truong said, claiming that close to 40% of jobs will be threatened over the next decade by automation and computerisation. “There are new jobs being created, particularly in growth industries like the personal services sector, but it takes time for people to find new employment.”
Data from other sources makes it pretty clear that the average Aussie household is walking a financial tightrope. According to the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s (REIA) 2016 Housing Affordability report, the average Aussie household spends 31.7% of their weekly income on mortgage repayments. Such households are said to be suffering from “mortgage stress,” using the traditional 30% cut-off guideline.
“Given the ongoing industry shifts, I anticipate job changes and employment anxiety will continue to rise,” Truong said.
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