(Australian Associated Press)
Australians are paying off their mortgages and other debt at record levels, new figures show.
The number of Australians owning their homes outright or switching from renting to ownership had risen to its highest level since 2010, according to results from the latest St George-Melbourne Institute Household Financial Conditions Report.
Forty-five per cent of those surveyed had paid off their mortgages, while 47.3 per cent reported having no debt at all.
The strong financial start to 2016 is partly due to low interest rates, the bank’s general manager of retail banking Ross Miller said.
“Improved household financial positions and lower interest rates have allowed more households to make the shift from renting to owning, while others may have made greater contributions to their mortgages, or paying off their homes entirely,” he said.
The level of renting, at 15 per cent, is the lowest recorded since the survey started in 2001 when 25 per cent of respondents were renting.
The report also found that while people are saving four per cent more to buy a home, the number of people saddled with mortgages and HECS debts has also decreased.
“Overall the results show a definite spring in the step of Australian households, with fewer respondents running into debt and fewer respondents drawing on their savings,” the bank said.