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Repayments have begun on almost half of deferred loans

The Australian Banking Association has announced that repayments have resumed on 45 per cent of deferred loans for mortgages and small businesses.

This is based on data gleamed from seven of Australia’s largest banks. The number of deferred mortgages has dropped to 270,000, with repayments restarting on 224,000 loans.

“This is a good sign for the economy. It shows that more Australians are getting back on their feet and resuming their loan repayments,” Australian Banking Association Chief Executive, Anna Bligh said.

President of REIA, Adrian Kelly, welcomed the news as “a promising sign” for agents and those in the property market”.

“The resumption of repayments in about half the cases is an encouraging sign that mortgagees will not be facing a cliff that some anticipated a few months ago,” Mr Kelly said.

“The banks’ commitment to working with customers is welcomed; and suggests fire sales will be an absolute last resort as the recovery commences.”

Related: Minister for Housing assures REIA of ‘resilient’ property market at roundtable

Mr Kelly highlighted a range of factors that are yet to play out, that could impact the sector.

“In June 2020 in excess of 80 per cent of Australian real estate professionals had identified the need to extend JobKeeper, JobSeeker and rental support,” he said.

“The continuance of support programs for property owners and tenants will be critically important as they will be relying on it for mortgage restarts.

“Another major factor is the progressive end to rental eviction moratoriums which range from now in Queensland through to the end of March 2021 in Victoria.”

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