$62,400 a year: Sydney suburbs with highest mortgage repayments revealed

There are more than 300 Sydney suburbs where it is typical for home loan repayments to top $30,000 a year.

The city's mortgage bill hotspots have been revealed by suburb-level census data provided to Fairfax Media by the Bureau of Statistics.

Dawes Point, adjacent to the southern pylons of the Harbour Bridge, had Sydney's highest median mortgage repayment of $62,400 a year.

Six more harbour-side and northern beaches suburbs had a median annual home loan repayment of more than $50,000. These were Duffys Forest ($60,000 a year), Whale Beach ($57,200), Clontarf ($52,000), Linley Point ($52,000), Longueville ($52,000) and Balgowlah Heights ($51,500).

Another 34 Sydney suburbs had a median mortgage bill of more than $40,000 a year while 309 suburbs had a median home mortgage repayment of $30,000 a year or more.

The median mortgage repayment identifies the middle repayment of all home borrowers in a suburb - that is, half of the repayments in that suburb were higher than the median value and half were lower.

The lowest median mortgage repayment in the Greater Sydney region was at Patonga on the Central Coast at $7550 per year.

A swag of suburbs in south-western Sydney also had relatively low median repayments including Airds near Campbelltown ($14,400 per year), Carramar near Fairfield ($16,000) and Miller near Liverpool ($17,400).

Across Greater Sydney the median mortgage repayment was $26,004 per year, the 2016 census showed. That was 23 per cent - or nearly $5000 a year - higher than the national median mortgage repayment. Melbourne's median mortgage repayment was a little above the national average at $21,600. The median mortgage repayment in Canberra was $24,700 per year.

The median price for a detached house in Sydney reached $1.18 million last quarter having risen more than 80 per cent in the past five years, Domain Group figures show.

Despite surging property prices, the share of Sydney households devoting more than 30 per cent of their incomes on repayments - a common definition of mortgage stress - fell from 12 per cent of households in the 2011 census to 8.4 per cent of households in the 2016 census.

A key reason for the declining rate of mortgage stress has been falling interest rates. The official rate set by the Reserve Bank has been steady at a historic low of 1.5 per cent for more than a year. Very low interest rates mean the share of disposable household income being devoted to interest repayments has fallen nationally during the past five years.

However, household debt as a share of disposable household income has climbed to a record high. Minutes of the most recent Reserve Bank board meeting, released on Tuesday, noted that growth in home borrowing continues to outpace "relatively slow growth in household incomes".

Sydney's rate of home ownership fell markedly between the 2011 census and the 2016 census despite a declining proportion of households in mortgage stress. The city's home ownership rate of 62.3 per cent is now more than 3 percentage points below the national average.

The decline was most pronounced in a band of suburbs between about 10km and 25km from Sydney's central business district, analysis by the Grattan Institute shows.

The story $62,400 a year: Sydney suburbs with highest mortgage repayments revealed first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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