Melbourne’s multicultural suburbs hit hard by mortgage stress as interest rates rise

Three years after migrating to Australia from Africa, Lea moved into her dream house in 2019.

The spacious two-storey property in Melbourne’s sprawling outer southeast was perfect for her then-husband and four kids.

Three years on, the decision to purchase a $900,000 home and land package in Cranbourne is increasingly becoming a nightmare.

Lea, who asked her surname not to be published, is now in the final stages of settling a divorce.

She is the sole carer of her children, and said her wage as an aged care worker was being stretched to afford the $2,500-a-month mortgage repayments.

Lea is dreading next year, when the low-interest portion of her loan will need to be re-fixed, inevitably at a much higher rate.

“The pressure is getting harder and harder. Maybe in the future I’m thinking to sell and buy a small house that we can manage with the kids,” she said.

Aspirational migrants like Lea are at the forefront of Australia’s mortgage stress crisis, financial experts say, with boom suburbs in Melbourne’s fringe filled with owners struggling to make their repayments.

Multicultural suburbs among those with most mortgage stress


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