Half of households which deferred home loans have restarted repayments

Half of all households who cut or temporarily halted their mortgage repayments at the height of the Covid-19 economic crisis are back to making full repayments.

During the national lockdown in March and April, banks agreed to let households whose incomes had reduced to either temporarily stop, or reduce repayments on their home loans, a move that was commonly referred to as taking a repayments ‘holiday’.

At its peak in June around 7 per cent of all home loans were on deferred or reduced payment plans with their banks, according to data from credit reporting bureau Centrix.

But Mark Rowley, Centrix chief operating officer, said that by the end of September, the number of mortgages on deferral had halved from its June peak to 3.5 per cent of all home loans.

* Bank profits cut nearly in half by Covid-19 economic crisis
* ‘Staggering’ number of households behind on their mortgages
* Homeowners warned not to expect automatic extension of loan ‘holidays’

The crest of the mortgage deferrals wave peaked at 54,000 home loan borrowers having secured deals to make lower repayments, or defer repayments altogether, Rowley said.

In June, nearly seven in every 10 mortgages was on a repayment ‘holiday’.

David White/Stuff

In June, nearly seven in every 10 mortgages was on a repayment ‘holiday’.

By the end of September, there were around 28,000 home loans on deferred, or reduced repayments, he said.

Some of the worst hit areas had seen big improvements in household finances, Centrix’s data indicated.

In Queenstown, the proportion of home loans on which borrowers had agreed repayment reductions and deferrals peaked at nearly 12 per cent, but had now dropped to just under 7 per cent, Rowley said.

“Queenstown, Rotorua, and Taupo are still out in front, but the fact that the number of mortgages on arrangements has fallen suggests that domestic tourism is benefiting

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