HIGH interest rates and property prices are only part of the story behind home-loan defaults, a mortgage insurance company has found. In a study on the contentious question of mortgage stress, the Genworth Financial report found that of the 1 million borrowers it insures, fewer than 5000 had fallen three months behind on their repayments.
Genworth’s country executive, Peter Hall, said this rate of default was within the historical trend of mortgage default rates, reflecting Reserve Bank assessments of mortgage stress.
Although interest rate rises are largely blamed for mortgage stress, Mr Hall said the research showed that unexpected events in borrowers’ lives were more important causes of failures to meet debt repayments. […]