After splitting with her husband, she struggled to make mortgage repayments.
After splitting with her husband, she struggled to make mortgage repayments.

'Things could get ugly' for Gladstone homeowners

A FINANCIAL analyst had predicted "things could get ugly" for homeowners in Gladstone if unemployment continues to rise.

Digital Finance Analytics principle Martin North has used a range of economic data to create an estimate of the number of households that may default on their mortgage in Gladstone.

As it stands Mr North pegged the 4680 postcode as the 283rd worst area in Queensland for potential mortgage defaults within a 90-day period, with 0.874% of households likely to go under.

The national average sits at 0.81%.

"What we do is look at the probability of what proportion of households with a mortgage will go into delinquency," Mr North said.

"Gladstone is slightly above the national average but still below 1%.

"Anything above 1% means that those areas are much more likely to default and what we see in Gladstone is that while it's not dramatic yet, it is becoming riskier and lenders are more conservative and less willing to loan money for properties," he said.

He said interest rates and unemployment needed to remain low to help locals stay in their homes.

But as Karen Wilson recently found out, it's not just interest rates and unemployment that can put you out of a home.

After splitting up with her husband Ms Wilson was in a difficult position and couldn't afford to make mortgage repayments on her Tannum Sands property.

"It was really hard and a couple of times I had to make hardship applications because I was left with payments that I couldn't meet on my own," she said.

"Because I've just become divorced I needed to refinance my loan on the terms I wanted and on the weekly payment I could afford.

"But I went to all the big banks in town but they all just said you're over 50 and none of them got back to me," she said.

With Ms Wilson's home loan rates set to increase next month, she finally secured a contract to refinance her loan with the lenders, The Capricornian.

"The main thing is that they treat you as a person and now with budgeting I can afford to stay," she said.



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