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Mortgage stress, sector optimism, borrower confusion amid interest rate rises

Borrowers facing increased loan repayments are stressed and refinancing in record numbers, but the time to secure fixed rate home loans may have passed.

Young woman with hands on head appears stressed about her mortgage statement.
The latest interest rate hike will likely plunge another 200,000 households into mortgage stress.

The financial crunch of three consecutive monthly interest rate increases

by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), and subsequently lenders, has sent record numbers of borrowers scurrying to refinance.

Around one in five mortgage holders have refinanced their home loan in the past six months, with the same proportion (18 per cent) saying they plan to do so in the coming six months.

The total value of refinanced loans reached a benchmark high of …