More than half of all deferrals by banks are for home loans

Australian mortgage borrowers continue to take advantage of the repayment holiday being offered by lenders amid the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Australian Banking Association (ABA).

Banks and lending institutions have deferred around 429,000 mortgages as of 16 May, equivalent to a total value of $153.5bn. ABA said this translates to one in 14 mortgage borrowers.

Overall, banks have deferred 703,000 loans worth $211bn.

Anna Blight, CEO of ABA, said the deferrals give affected families the necessary breather to help them manage their finances amid the outbreak. 

“Banks are here to support customers throughout the crisis and help the economy on the other side as we recover from the devastating effects of this pandemic,” she said.

A recent study by the Digital Finance Analytics (DFA) showed that 38% of households were "cash-flow stressed".

"One other factor in play is that many households relied on multiple incomes and the loss of just one is sufficient often to push people into stress," said Martin North, principal of DFA.