With more than 800,000 low fixed-rate home loans set to expire this year, many homeowners are at greater risk of financial strain, particularly those who hadn’t built up a savings buffer.

PEXA’s Emerging Mortgage Risk Report identified 181 postcodes in New South Wales where homeowners are likely to be at high risk of missing a mortgage repayment by May.

This was a sharp increase compared to the three months ended December 2022, where only 119 postcodes were deemed at high mortgage risk, an increase of 52.1%.

In Victoria, 22.3% of all postcodes in the state (more than one-in-five suburbs) were at high risk of default, up from just two suburbs in December 2020.

Queensland exhibited a lower risk profile than other eastern states, with 19 postcodes expected to move into high mortgage risk by May this year. 

The higher risk in NSW and lower risk in Queensland was driven largely by property prices in the respective states which subsequently influenced overall loan amounts.

PEXA’s Head of Research Mike Gill said the report highlights how recent economic challenges are affecting borrowers across the country.

“With interest rates continuing to rise and the cost of living also squeezing the budgets of households, there has been a pronounced spike in the number of families facing more immediate mortgage risk,” Mr Gill said.

“In addition to these factors, with an estimated 800,000 fixed rate loans due to expire during 2023 and reset at a significantly higher cost, it’s easy to see why refinance volumes are at a record high as mortgagees seek to strike a better deal.

“It’s clear that lending pressure is set to stay in the months ahead.”

Which postcodes are expected to face the highest risk? 

PEXA categorised mortgage risk into low, moderate, high risk, and very high risk based on the proportion of family income needed to repay the mortgage.

Families in high risk postcodes are allocating between 40-60% of their income to meet their home loan repayments while those in very high risk postcodes are allocating more than 60% to cover their repayments.

Affluent metropolitan areas topped the most risky postcodes in NSW and VIC, whereas QLD regional postcodes were most likely to fall in the high risk band. 

The income distributions of high-risk postcodes in NSW and VIC were similar and encompassed both high and low income areas. Almost 40% were from the very high income postcodes, with around a quarter from the low income group.

In contrast, Queensland’s higher risk postcodes skewed towards lower income areas, where 37% were low income postcodes and only 11% were very high income postcodes.

New South Wales postcodes with highest mortgage risk

Postcode Mortgage risk band
Northbridge (2063) 71.8%
Dural (2158) 71.4%
Avalon Beach (2107) 69.4%
Kingsgrove (2208) 68.2%
Glenhaven (2156) 66.4%

Victoria postcodes with highest mortgage risk

Postcode Mortgage risk band
Balwyn (3103) 74.2%
Balwyn North (3104) 71.4%
Canterbury (3126) 70.2%
Balnarring (3926) 64.6%
Glen Waverley (3150) 62.5%

Queensland postcodes with highest mortgage risk

Postcode Mortgage risk band
Noosaville (4566) 58.3%
Maleny (4552) 57.1%
Tallegudgera (4228) 56.9%
Tewantin (4565) 53.8%
Doonan (4562) 48.5%

Australians forced to dig deeper into their pockets

Further illustrating the lending pain being experienced, NSW borrowers will require an extra $15,985 per year on average to meet their loan repayments, an increase of 62.3% from December 2020.

Victorian and Queensland homeowners will have to cough up an additional $13,327 (+67.3%) and $11,567 (+67.0%) respectively.

While it’s typically expected those in higher income postcodes will be able to weather rising mortgage repayments, they tend to be a lot more overstretched as they took out higher mortgages before the consecutive rate rises.

Repayments for those in Northbridge (2063) and Canterbury (3126) are projected to rise by more than $60,000 annually.

The suburbs where homeowners have seen prices grow upward of 300%

On the flipside, over the past decade, a handful of regions have seen multi-million dollar profits according to recent PropTrack data. 

Lifestyle areas saw the biggest growth in house prices, as property seekers sought out coastal and park-side living.

The top 4 suburbs that saw the largest house price increase nationally include:

  1. Byron Bay (NSW) - experienced 361.5% growth in ten years
  2. Bright (VIC) - experienced 256.6% growth in ten years
  3. Suffolk Park (NSW) - experienced 256.1% growth in ten years
  4. Berry (NSW) - experienced 255.9% growth in ten years


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.

Update resultsUpdate
LenderHome LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Repayment type Rate Type Offset Redraw Ongoing Fees Upfront Fees LVR Lump Sum Repayment Additional Repayments Split Loan Option TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
6.04% p.a.
6.06% p.a.
Principal & Interest
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Principal & Interest
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6.14% p.a.
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Principal & Interest
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Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

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. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. 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 . View disclaimer.

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