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Three quarters of Australians are concerned about daily living costs (73%), increased energy costs (66%), increasing unemployment (53.6%) and not enough retirement savings or superannuation (43.8%.), according to an independent survey commissioned by Australia’s leading mortgage broker, Aussie.

The survey of 1,000 respondents, undertaken this month, also shows that almost a third of Australians are concerned about the Australian Government’s debt (30.1%), while 21.1% felt the housing market recovery has been slow and prices are unaffordable.

Lack of availability of established homes for first home buyers concerns 18.5% of people. Despite the lowest interest rates in Australian history, 14.8% of respondents are worried about meeting their mortgage repayments. There has been very little lift in optimism about the economy, with three quarters of the respondents (76.8%) feeling no more or less optimistic than they did one year ago, despite the change in government.

CEO of Aussie, Mr Ian Corfield, said “While we have seen the housing market recover somewhat, it is still difficult for some sectors of the community, such as first home buyers, to get into established homes.

“More people are becoming worried about meeting their mortgage repayments, despite the historically low interest rates”, he added.

Almost 16% were concerned about their credit card bill, and yet 15% were worried about the slow recovery of the retail sector. Only 1.7% of all respondents felt there was nothing bothering them about the economy.

Despite the concerns, more than half of all respondents (52.5%) still planned a major purchase on a holiday in the future, but 20% were not planning any major purchases due to their lack of economic confidence.

Almost 20% however planned to purchase a home (11%) or investment property (8.4%) while around 16% planned to undertake major renovations.

Mr Corfield added, “There seems to be enough confidence in the economy for at least 20% of respondents to consider a house purchase and with the low interest rates likely to stick around for some time yet, those planning to purchase property or refinance to renovate have picked the right time. Rental yields in many capital cities and regional locations are certainly covering the mortgage repayments.

“For those less confident, it is really a time to pay down other debt while rates are low and the market is recovering. I believe the market is improving and China and other foreign economies are stabilising,” he concluded.