02 Sep 2020

Victoria bucks national trend of falling COVID-19 hardship

Non-bank lender Firstmac has released a new analysis of its $12 billion loan book which shows that the number of homeowners on COVID-19 hardship arrangements is rising in Victoria, against a backdrop of falling hardship in other states.   

Managing Director Kim Cannon said that the Victorian lockdown was predictably causing increased financial hardship among Victorians, and especially business owners and the self-employed.  

“The overall picture of COVID-19 hardship in Australia is – thankfully – a positive one, with less homeowners needing assistance each month,” Mr Cannon said.  

“Unfortunately, Victoria is still doing it tough, as restrictions on people’s movements and business operations hit their earnings and make it harder to service their mortgages.”  

The Firstmac data shows that the percentage of mortgage holders on fully or partially-suspended repayments due to COVID-19 hardship had dropped to 4.84% on August 31, from 5.1% on July 31, 5.37% at June 30 and 5.65% on May 31.  

In recent months, the monthly loan book updates from Firstmac have become a market bellwether for investors in bank stocks and Residential Mortgage-backed Securities (RMBS).

During August Firstmac received $11 million of new COVID-19 hardship assistance requests while $46 million of loans moved out of COVID-19 status. 

By contrast, the number of Victorian homeowners requiring hardship arrangements increased slightly over the month from 5.37% on July 31 to 5.6% on August 31, although it remains below its May peak of 5.82%.  

Self-employed Victorians were the hardest hit, with 9.33% needing COVID-19 hardship arrangements – almost double the national average rate. Self-employed people in some other states were also disproportionately affected, with 6.01% in NSW and 5.33% in Queensland requiring hardship.  

The least affected state was the ACT, with just 2.14% of borrowers impacted overall, followed by South Australia with 3.48%.  

Hardship by State below. 

 

ACT 

SA 

QLD 

TAS 

WA 

NSW 

VIC 

31/08/2020 

2.14 

3.48 

4.25 

4.34 

4.47 

5.23 

5.56 

 

Mr Cannon said he was optimistic that the number of people in COVID-19 hardship would continue to fall in the coming months.  

“It is very encouraging that the number of people on hardship arrangements has now declined for three straight months and I expect that this slow but steady improvement will persist,” Mr Cannon said.  

"There are promising signs that the Victorians are getting on top of their outbreak and will soon able to get back on track as well."  

Media contact: Duncan Macfarlane on 0434 184 264 

Firstmac Limited is an independently-owned, Australian financial services provider with more than four decades of experience in home and investment loans. Firstmac has written more than 130,000 home loans and manages more than $12 billion in mortgages and $300 million in cash investments. Firstmac is a premier sponsor of the Brisbane Broncos. 

Victorians soldier on despite COVID-19 lockdown

Non-bank lender Firstmac has released a new analysis of its $12.6 billion loan book which shows that the number of homeowners on COVID-19 hardship arrangements continues to fall steadily despite the flare-up in Victoria. 

Managing Director Kim Cannon said the percentage of mortgage holders on fully or partially suspended repayments due to COVID-19 hardship had dropped to 5.1% on July 31, from 5.37% at June 30 and 5.65% on May 31. 

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