Over 20,000 Queensland families have been forced into distress sales of their homes in the past year. Nationally, interest-only home loans surged by nearly $1 billion in just three months as homeowners scramble to avoid delinquency.

Exclusive data from SQM Research shows Queensland leads the nation in distress listings due to financial pressures from 13 rate hikes and escalating living costs. Distress listings, often sold below value, result from mortgage repossessions, rushed sales, and divorces.

The Reserve Bank of Australia may impose further rate hikes to control inflation, exacerbating homeowners’ struggles. Richard Whitten, a home loans expert at Finder, noted many Australians are in survival mode, with mortgage payments consuming a significant portion of their income.

Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker reports that 30% of Queenslanders struggle to pay their mortgage, up from 25% in 2022. SQM Research’s Louis Christopher confirms Queensland’s status as the worst for distress listings, with 20,600 recorded in the past year.

Financial experts advise that while interest-only loans offer short-term relief, they are not a long-term solution and may lead to greater financial strain.

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