PHOTO: JobKeeper payments
About 9 per cent of all housing loans were subject to repayment deferrals at the end of August, raising fears that once government coronavirus relief tapers off, a flood of homeowners could be forced to sell, putting more pressure on declining property prices.
Government support packages have provided support to workers, who have been stood down or lost their jobs because of the pandemic, as well as businesses that have seen their sales plunge.
The government has extended JobKeeper payments for a further six months until March 28, 2021. However, from September 28, eligibility was changed to be based on actual business turnover in relevant periods, with payments stepped down and paid at two rates (for full-time and part-time workers). The rates will step down again from January 4.
Martin North, founder of Digital Finance Analytics, says he expects mortgage defaults in the months ahead, given unemployment rates are likely to stay high, perhaps for years before the full economic effects of COVID-19 are behind us. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said earlier this month the national jobless rate stood at 6.8 per cent.
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