Employees, self-funded retirees feel the brunt of cost of living increases

author-avatar By
on August 03, 2022 Fact Checked
Employees, self-funded retirees feel the brunt of cost of living increases

Employed Aussies and self-funded retirees felt the most significant hits to the back pocket in the June quarter.

That's according to the latest Living Cost Index (LCI) data from the ABS.

The Living Cost Index (LCI) details the impact of changes in prices on the living costs of different groups of households – employees, age pensioners, other government transfer recipients and self-funded retirees.

Across all groups, the index revealed food, non-alcoholic beverages and transport were the main contributors to increased cost of living expenses. 

The ABS detailed floods, rising freight and input costs, and ongoing supply chain disruptions affected many food groups, particularly fruit and vegetables.

Recent grocery price data from Frugl revealed prices of fruit and vegetables experienced the most significant growth across shopping trolleys in the June quarter increasing 7.48%

In terms of transport, the ABS reported the price of automotive fuel across the nation rose in excess of 32% in the 12 months to the June quarter. 

Higher interest rates are showing signs that they are starting to take their toll, with interest rate rises contributing to the growth in cost of living expenses for employee households.

The increase to cost of living expenses has shifted consumer confidence in recent times, with the latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Confidence Index reading 83.8 - a level seen only during periods of major disruption in the Australian economy. 

AMP Chief Economist Shane Oliver said on average, the household sector is in reasonable shape once the rise in wealth, a build up in excess saving and mortgage buffers is allowed for - but averages can be deceiving.

"While RBA analysis shows that just over one third of households with a variable rate mortgage will see no increase in their payments with a 3% rise in interest rates, more than a third of all households with a mortgage – whether variable or fixed - will see a greater than 40% increase," Mr Oliver said.

"Roughly speaking, this is about 1.3 million households.

"Coming at a time when home prices are already falling rapidly due to the impact of rising rates on home buyer demand it will only add to home price falls, which will weigh further on consumer spending."

See more: Inflation rises to 6.1%, highest annual rate since 1990. 

Aussies on the move to combat rising cost of living

Data from online removalist booking platform Muval surveying 400 Aussies revealed 11% of Australians have moved to slash living costs so far in 2022, while 36% flagged their intent to relocate to help reduce expenses in the future.

Muval Chief Executive Officer James Morrell said cheaper house prices, loss of employment opportunities or income, and rising electricity prices will continue to influence where and why Australians are moving as living expenses continue to soar.

"Data is telling us that moving is one way Australians’ plan to combat cost of living pressures with many households that are feeling the pinch willing to pack up their lives to find a new home with the right price tag," Mr Morrell said.

"Over the last two years we saw Australians move to escape COVID-19 and now they are searching for a more affordable lifestyle.

"With inflation and interest rates rising rapidly, the cost-of-living crunch is set to disrupt millions of Australians and we expect there will be another wave of people looking to move house in the coming months."

Following Tuesday's fourth consecutive cash rate increase, PropTrack Senior Economist Eleanor Creagh said as the cash rate moves higher, borrowing capacities will be constrained and the cost of servicing a mortgage will increase significantly.

"For sellers, it’s time to reset price expectations and be mindful that your property may take longer to sell with fewer competing bidders," Ms Creagh said. 

"For those looking to get into the market, there will be less competition and a lot more choice that could create opportunities for some.”


Advertisement

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Lender

Variable
More details
  • Min 30% deposit
  • No monthly or ongoing fees, add 0.10% for offset
  • Unlimited redraws

Variable Home Loan (LVR < 70%)

  • Min 30% deposit
  • No monthly or ongoing fees, add 0.10% for offset
  • Unlimited redraws
Variable
More details
REFINANCE ONLY
  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
REFINANCE ONLY

Variable Rate Home Loan – Refinance Only

  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
Variable
More details
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION

Neat Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
NO ONGOING FEES
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
NO ONGOING FEES

Yard PAYG Home Loan (Principal and Interest) LVR ≤ 80%

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of August 11, 2022. View disclaimer.


Image by Karolina Grabowska via Pexels



Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

Latest Articles

author-avatar
Jacob Cocciolone joined the Savings team in 2021 as a Finance Journalist. Driven by a passion for keeping Australians up to date with the latest financial news and trends, his areas of interest include financial technology, investing, property and motoring.

Be Savings smart.
Subscribe for free money newsletters.

By subscribing you agree
to the Savings Privacy Policy